The ‘Carbon Aware’ update has now rolled out for Xbox Series X, which adds new power saving modes that could help reduce your energy bills.
This new firmware was first offered to Xbox Insider members back in January, but it’s now available for all Xbox Series X owners. It’s a simple flick of a switch to get started with the new power saving modes, all you need to do is enable “Instant On” in the settings menu, which effectively replaces the previous sleep mode.
Microsoft claims (opens in new tab) that the new shutdown setting for the system is up to 20X more efficient. This can be evidenced in the power consumption figures, as the new mode draws just 0.5W of power in contrast to the 10-15W power draw of the Xbox Series X in sleep mode.
Through the Instant On mode, you’ll be able to download some of the best Xbox Series X games and install firmware updates just as you would before, so things have become more efficient with the system laying dormant once you put the controller down. If rising energy bills have been a concern to you when playing your Xbox Series X console, this update could help over the coming months.
It’s all part of Microsoft’s extended plan to “build a more sustainable future of gaming” which has been on the cards for just shy of a year now. The shutdown setting was originally announced back in March (opens in new tab) 2022, so it’s been a long time coming.
It’s far from the only proposed action the hardware manufacturer wants to consider for the system. Microsoft has also experimented with the idea of reducing graphical fidelity and gaming performance to keep costs down. This has yet to materialize, but the polled survey conducted with Xbox Insider members pointed towards this being a feature that some gamers wanted.
The efforts made by Microsoft are ultimately a step in the right direction. When people struggle to keep the lights on and heat their homes, giving gamers finer control over the energy output of their game consoles is appreciated. As it’s also entirely optional, you won’t have to opt in and can keep things in standby and sleep mode if you’d rather not rely on the auto wake and scheduling mode.