Xbox aims to lower carbon emissions with default power-saving setting on consoles

My two favorite things: gaming and sustainability

Microsoft has made it clear over the past few years that they’re making an effort to help out the planet, and their newest movement toward their goal of being a “carbon negative, water positive, and zero waste” company takes the form of a brand new update that will impact how Xbox consoles consume power. The update will make Xbox consoles “carbon aware,” similar to an update that affected Windows 11 that was released last year.

Upon a one-time download, the new Xbox update will automatically apply changes to the console’s settings when it boots up. Major changes include consoles updating automatically to the Shutdown (energy saving) option, which means power consumption will be reduced while the console is turned off. This setting will cause the console to boot more slowly, but it will save 20x the amount of energy while active, Microsoft says. In addition, the Xbox will not wake at its usual nightly hours of 2-6am for maintenance, and will instead wake to perform updates at any time that uses the most renewable energy.

Of course, these settings are entirely optional, and players can turn them off any time they choose. The aforementioned updates will be automatically applied for Xbox Insiders as of today, but Microsoft did include instructions for non-Insiders to implement these changes on their own when they become available in the future. For a full breakdown of these instructions and details of the entire carbon aware update, check out this post on the official Xbox blog.

Noelle Warner
After a few years of working in game development, Noelle joined the Destructoid team in 2021. She particularly loves interactive storytelling and cuddling with her cats!