Microsoft says a new Xbox update makes it the ‘first carbon aware console’

Microsoft has said it’s in the process of updating Xbox consoles to make it the first carbon aware gaming platform.

The company has begun rolling out a series of new energy saving features to testers signed up to its Xbox Insiders programme, ahead of their general release.

“Being carbon aware means reducing carbon footprint by optimizing updates and downloads to run at a time when the console can use the most renewable energy,” Microsoft said on Xbox Wire.

Redfall – Official Into the Night Trailer

Following the new system update, Xbox will attempt to schedule console updates at times when a larger proportion of electricity is coming from lower-carbon sources on the electric grid.

“This decreases fossil fuel dependency and CO2 emissions, and could potentially save you money,” Microsoft said.

Following the update, Xbox Series X/S consoles will automatically be placed in the Shutdown (energy saving) power option, which Microsoft said cuts power use by up to 20x when consoles are off compared to Sleep.

“This one-time update to your power settings will reduce your power consumption while your console is off, and will not affect performance, gameplay, or your console’s ability to receive overnight updates to system, games or apps.

“Remote features are supported while the console is powered-on; however, remote wake is not supported while the console is shut down. You can adjust your settings at any time, choosing what works best for you.”

Microsoft said Xbox One consoles will begin to see new power mode options, including Shutdown, as early as today.

“Shutdown will allow Xbox One consoles to receive system, game or app downloads overnight, just like Xbox Series X|S. With Shutdown (energy saving) selected, Xbox One consoles will experience a slower boot time. Remote features are still supported while the console is powered on.”

A new ‘Active hours’ energy setting also launches today for Xbox Insiders. It lets players who choose the Sleep power option adjust their console’s active hours, during which the system will boot quickly and be available for remote wake. Outside of active hours, consoles will fully shut down and draw 0.5 W vs. 10-15 W while active.

Xbox Series X/S active hours will be automatically scheduled based on previous console usage, while Xbox One players will have the ability to configure their active hours.

Earlier today Xbox and Bethesda announced plans to live stream a “Developer Direct” games showcase on January 25.

The event will provide fans with “an inside look at some of the games coming to Xbox, PC and Game Pass over the next few months” including Forza Motorsport, Minecraft Legends and Redfall.