Microsoft is rolling out a new Xbox update that makes several changes to help gamers reduce their carbon footprint, and this includes making the system default to the energy-saving startup option.
Xbox Insiders are getting this update today, January 11. Microsoft said in a blog post that this will reduce console power consumption when the console is off. This won’t affect performance or how updates can install overnight. However, the ability to remotely wake your console in the energy-saving option is not supported. Consoles in energy-saving mode boot slower, too.
Also, all of this is optional. Players can go into the settings and opt for “Instant On” option to boot their console faster, though this uses 20X more energy, according to Microsoft.
“We encourage all players to learn more about the power setting options available to you. Every small step we take has larger collective impact–and choosing shutdown (energy saving) can have real, meaningful impact. For example, for every two consoles that switch to Shutdown (energy saving) for one year, we will save the equivalent amount of carbon removed by one tree planted and grown for a decade,” Microsoft said.
In another update, Microsoft said your Xbox console will now longer wake itself up during the nightly maintenance period of between 2-6 AM. Instead, the console will wake up for this maintenance at a time, whenever that may be, that uses the most renewable energy in your local energy grid.
“This decreases fossil fuel dependency and CO2 emissions, and could potentially save you money,” Microsoft said.
All of these changes are available now for Xbox Insiders, but all users will see the update soon.
This is all happening as part of Microsoft’s previously stated goal of becoming a “carbon negative, water positive, and zero waste” company by 2030. Before this, Microsoft created what it called the the world’s first carbon-neutral consoles.