Today Microsoft announced a move to reduce its Xbox console's environmental impact in line with the company's goal of becoming carbon negative by 2030.
Thanks to updates rolling out to those who opted into the Insider program, Xbox consoles are becoming "carbon aware" in how they perform downloads and update.
When a console is plugged in, connected to the internet, and in a region where carbon intensity data is available, the console will schedule updates at the specific times at night in which a higher proportion of electricity is coming from lower-carbon sources on the electric grid.
This aims to decrease fossil fuel dependency and CO2 emissions, and could even potentially save the user some money. Using the Shutdown (energy saving) mode is required to activate this feature. Xbox Series X|S users in the insider programs will see their consoles automatically update to the mode. Of course, they can still manually adjust their settings at any time.
Xbox One users will also receive the Shutdown (energy saving) as early as today, bringing its ability to receive system, game or app downloads overnight like the Xbox Series X|S does. This will slow down boot time, but remote features will be still supported while the console is powered on.
Microsoft claims that "for every 2 consoles that switch to Shutdown (energy saving) for one year, we will save the equivalent amount of carbon removed by 1 tree planted and grown for a decade."
Another energy saving feature rolling out with the update to insiders is the "Active Hours" setting. Basically, it lets you select the hours in which you actually game. During these hours, the console will boot quickly and will be available for remote wake. Outside of these hours, it will fully shut down drawing much less power from your outlet.
On Xbox Series X|S, active hours will be automatically enabled and scheduled based on when the console was previously used. On Xbox One, tghe default is "always active" unless you change the setting manually.