Xbox's new energy settings saves your money by using 20x less power

Xbox Insiders can cut their electricity bill by enabling this setting

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Xbox's new energy settings saves your money by using 20x less power

Microsoft’s gaming division Xbox is working towards reducing environmental impact to achieve the company’s goal of becoming carbon-negative by 2030. Last year, Microsoft made Windows Update carbon-aware for PCs running on Windows 11.

And, earlier this year Xbox took some steps to reduce its carbon footprint with the help of multiple new features. These include carbon-aware Xbox game updates and downloads as well as the new energy settings.

Xbox’s new energy settings come in handy to save your electricity bill

This year, Xbox Series X|S consoles were automatically updated with a Shutdown (energy-saving) power option. Microsoft says this one-time energy settings update will decrease energy consumption when your Xbox console is off. The best part is that this won’t impact gameplay, performance, or the console’s ability to receive nightly updates.

Besides, you can use the remote features only when the console is turned on. However, the remote wake feature is not supported when the console is shut down. That said, you can always adjust the settings ensuring what’s best for you.

Notably, the Shutdown (energy saving) decreases power usage by up to 20 times compared to the Sleep feature. Currently, the update is only available to Xbox Insiders. But all Xbox gamers will soon get a chance to update their Xbox console to make it carbon-aware.

The new energy settings update called Active hours is also rolling out for Xbox Insiders. Whereas, Insiders who choose the Sleep power option can set the console’s active hours. During those hours your Xbox will power on quickly and be available for remote wake.

Xbox new energy settings 'Active hours"
Source: Xbox

However, when the active hours end, Xbox will shut down drawing only 0.5 Watts compared to 10-15 Watts when the device is active. Microsoft in its blog asks all the stakeholders to contribute to the reduction of gaming’s impact on the environment. It says:

We can’t do this alone. We must work together with our players, developers, studios, and the industry if we’re going to help reduce gaming’s impact on the environment. We’re committed to collaborating with our developers, partnering with organizations, and empowering players to make more informed decisions.

Xbox is now the first gaming console to offer carbon-aware game downloads and updates

Xbox now optimizes game updates and downloads to run when the console can use the most renewable energy to become carbon-aware. Microsoft via the Xbox Wire blog explains how this would work. It adds:

When your console is plugged in, connected to the Internet and regional carbon intensity data is available, Xbox will schedule game, app, and OS updates for your console at specific times during the nightly maintenance window that may result in lower carbon emissions because a higher proportion of electricity is coming from lower-carbon sources on the electric grid.

It simply means, your Xbox console will wake up at a time when it can use renewable energy in your local grid rather than waking up during a specific maintenance window, say between 2AM and 6AM. One might wonder what difference does that make? This method decreases the dependency on CO2 emissions and fossil fuels, eventually saving your electricity bill.

You can also read more on what Xbox is doing for sustainability by clicking here.

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