Xbox Introduces Energy-Saving Feature: Test Mode Shuts Down Console During Scheduled Hours

Xbox Introduces Energy-Saving Feature: Test Mode Shuts Down Console During Scheduled Hours

Microsoft is introducing an energy-saving feature for Xbox Series X, Series S and One owner that allows you to schedule ‘active hours’ when your console will shut down, thus cutting your energy use. You can manually schedule the hours, or you can opt for an automatic option that adapts to your usage habits.

The company is also introducing a ‘shutdown (energy saving)’ option that reportedly uses up to 20 times less power than sleep mode, while still allowing overnight updates to your Xbox and its games. This means you can reduce your energy footprint and potentially shrink your bills. The update will be automatic for Xbox Series X/S users in the Insider program, and it should be available for One model as early as today.

Additionally, Xbox is borrowing “carbon-aware” downloads from Windows 11. If carbon intensity data is available in your region, the machine will schedule OS and game updates for those times when it’s most likely to rely on local renewable energy, rather than simply grabbing files in the early morning. This feature will be available for Insiders right away if the Xbox Series X/S is configured for automatic updates, while the One will have multiple test options to help with feedback.

It’s unclear how much energy these features might save in the real world, but Microsoft estimates that two Xbox consoles using the eco-friendly shutdown feature will save carbon equivalent to that of tree removal in a decade, assuming your device is powered down for 20 hours per day. However, it’s worth noting that carbon-aware downloads only matter if renewables have a significant presence in your area.

Overall, this is a step in the right direction for tech companies, as they recognize software as a way to advance their environmental goals. Microsoft is taking the lead with this energy-saving feature, and it’s a great way to be conscious of your energy consumption while still enjoying your gaming sessions. So, get ready to schedule your active hours and save energy while gaming with Xbox.