Network-connected Xboxes will know when it’s best to download automatic updates to be as green as possible.
Xbox is looking to make its consoles the greenest with a new software update that automatically detects when the local network is drawing from renewable sources to minimize its carbon footprint.
The Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X consoles will become “carbon aware,” as Microsoft likes to call it. This means that both consoles will automatically look for regional carbon intensity data and, if available, incorporate this information into their nightly maintenance window to reduce emissions. So instead of waking up at a random time between 2 and 6 a.m. for automatic updates, it will wake up at a specific time when carbon emissions are at their lowest.
“This reduces fossil fuel reliance and CO2 emissions, and could potentially save you money,” Xbox Wire wrote. “While only available to Xbox Insiders who are currently using Shutdown (power saving), all Xbox gamers will have the option to update soon to make your Xbox console carbon aware.”
In addition to becoming carbon aware, Xbox Insiders will also see their current-gen consoles automatically updated to use the energy-saving shutdown power option. This reduces Xbox Series S and X power consumption by up to 2000% and does not affect console performance or nightly updates. However, it eliminates some remote functionality and it can be disabled in console settings, although Microsoft hopes you won’t.
“Every small step we take has a bigger collective impact – and choosing (power saving) shutdown can have a real and meaningful impact,” Xbox Wire added. “For example, for every 2 consoles that go into Shutdown (power saving) mode for a year, we will save the equivalent amount of carbon removed by 1 tree planted and grown for a decade.”
If you like the idea of going green but don’t want to deal with shutdown mode between certain hours, the new “active hours” setting will let you tell your Xbox when you want it to go green. fires up to all cylinders and when you can relax for the good of the planet. All of these settings and modes are available to Xbox Insiders now, but are expected to roll out to the wider Xbox ecosystem in the near future.
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