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Microsoft will start firmly pushing Xbox owners toward energy-saving mode

Xboxes will soon have options for active hours and carbon-friendly downloads.

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Enlarge / Microsoft is all but demanding Xbox owners give the drastically more energy-efficient “Shutdown” setting a try. (credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft is rolling out an update to Xbox consoles starting today that will automatically switch them to a power-saving Shutdown mode, instead of the usual energy-hungry Sleep mode. It’s part of a broader effort by Microsoft to make Xbox the “first carbon aware console.”

Blaine Hauglie, technical program manager at Xbox, writes in a blog post announcing the change that the update “will create opportunities for our collective community of gamers to make choices to reduce environmental impact while gaming.” Xbox Series X, Series S, and One consoles will now default to “Shutdown (energy saving)” instead of “Sleep (Instant On).” Xboxes will also now schedule downloads during times when lower-carbon grid energy is available.

These changes are rolling out starting today to those enrolled in the beta-tester-like Xbox Insiders program but will eventually ship to all units. Xbox owners who want to switch back to Sleep mode will have to manually do so via the system settings. Microsoft did not specify how it would notify Xbox Series X and S console users about the switch but noted that it would, for Xbox One consoles, “be testing multiple messaging options to determine the best way to inform players of the change.”

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