Microsoft optimizes Xbox to perform downloads and updates when the console can use the most renewable energy, reducing carbon emissions.
The Xbox team announced the feature on Wednesday as part of Microsoft’s ongoing efforts to become a “carbon negative” company and help fight climate change. The software giant already brought so-called “carbon-aware” downloads to Windows 11 22H2 last September. Now it offers the same function to Xbox consoles.
The function works(Opens in a new window) extracting “carbon intensity data” for your area, which can show what times of day your local power grid uses non-renewable energy sources, such as coal or natural gas, to create electricity. Xbox will use this data to schedule game, app, and operating system updates during times of the day when the power grid is more dependent on clean energy, such as solar, wind, or power. hydraulic.
“For example, instead of your Xbox waking up during the nightly maintenance window at a random time between 2:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m., your console will wake up at a time when it can use the most renewable energy in your local power grid” This means the console could schedule the update for noon when the energy grid can rely on solar power.
“This reduces fossil fuel dependency and CO2 emissions, and could potentially save you money,” Microsoft added.
New Setting Arrives Today for Xbox Insider Beta Program Users(Opens in a new window), which configured the console to use “Shutdown (power saving)” mode. But Microsoft plans to roll out the carbon-sensitive download system to all Xbox owners soon.
Microsoft hasn’t specified whether you can bypass carbon-sensitive downloads. However, in Windows 11 you can by choosing(Opens in a new window) to install an update immediately.
To further reduce the potential carbon footprint, Microsoft is automatically updating all Xbox Insider users to shutdown (power saving) mode on the console. This means their systems will ditch the standard sleep mode, which can start the console instantly and be woken up remotely, but at the cost of using more electricity.
The tweak may annoy some Xbox Insiders. But Microsoft claims that Shutdown (energy saving) mode can save up to 20 times more electricity compared to Sleep mode. “This one-time update to your power settings will reduce your power consumption when your console is off and will not affect your console’s performance, gameplay, or ability to receive nightly system updates, games or apps,” the company said.
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Additionally, users can access the console settings to revert to the default sleep mode. To cater to Xbox Insiders opting for Sleep mode, Microsoft is adding a feature that promises to limit the console’s power consumption during the day.
“Another energy settings update that will begin rolling out to Xbox Insiders today is the new ‘Active Hours’ setting,” the company said. “For those who select the standby power option, you can now adjust your console’s active hours. Your Xbox will start up quickly and be available for remote wake-up during the active hours you selected. When the Your Xbox’s hours of activity are over for the day, it will shut down completely and consume 0.5W versus 10-15W when active.
For Xbox Insiders, Xbox Series X and S consoles will automatically determine active hours based on when the hardware is in use. The old Xbox One, meanwhile, will default to “always on” unless changed.
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