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Xbox Goes Green: New Carbon-Aware Updates Rolling Out for a Sustainable Gaming Experience

Xbox is working to reduce its environmental impact and reach Microsoft’s goal of being a carbon negative, water positive, and zero waste company by 2030. The company is rethinking how it designs, builds, distributes, and uses its products to be more sustainable. As part of this effort, Xbox is now rolling out updates to make the console carbon aware.

Xbox is the first gaming console to offer carbon aware game downloads and updates. Being carbon aware means reducing the carbon footprint by optimizing updates and downloads to run at a time when the console can use the most renewable energy. This helps to decrease fossil fuel dependency and CO2 emissions and may even save users money.

When the console is plugged in and connected to the Internet and regional carbon intensity data is available, Xbox will schedule game, app, and OS updates for the console at specific times during the nightly maintenance window that may result in lower carbon emissions because a higher proportion of electricity is coming from lower-carbon sources on the electric grid. For example, instead of the console waking up during the maintenance window at a random time between 2:00 AM and 6:00 AM, it will wake up at a time when it can use the most renewable energy in the local energy grid.

In addition to the carbon aware updates, Xbox is also introducing new energy settings that help the console save energy. Xbox Insiders will notice that their Xbox Series X|S consoles automatically update to the Shutdown (energy saving) power option. This one-time update to power settings will reduce power consumption while the console is off and will not affect performance, gameplay, or the 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. Users can adjust their settings at any time, choosing what works best for them.

Furthermore, Xbox One consoles will begin to see new power mode options, including shutdown (energy saving) as early as today. Xbox One consoles will be testing multiple messaging options to determine the best way to inform players of the change. This effort is to provide Xbox One gamers an opportunity to provide feedback on their experience.

Shutdown (energy saving) 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 but remote wake is not.

These updates will be rolling out to Xbox Insiders and will be available to all Xbox gamers soon.

For more information, check out: xbox.com/sustainability.

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