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Xbox's next update to turn systems carbon-aware

Microsoft wants to make the Xbox consoles as green as their logo.

Xbox Insiders now have an energy-saving Shutdown feature on their Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One systems that offer carbon aware game downloads and updates. The feature will be available to all console owners in the near future, and makes the Xbox the first games console that's carbon-aware.

Basically, Xbox consoles that are connected to the internet now have considerably lower carbon emissions when downloading a game or automatic update during the night when players are asleep. The console "wakes up" at a random point between 2-6 AM, when it can use the most renewable energy in a local energy grid. 

"We not only hold ourselves accountable to the carbon emissions in the production and distribution of our products, but to the emissions created with the use of our products in the homes of our fans as well," wrote Microsoft. "So the way we design our hardware and software to be more efficient and optimized for renewable energy can have a big impact."

Microsoft says that every two consoles using Shutdown for a year is the carbon equivalent to a tree being planted and grown over the course of a decade. At the moment, Xbox Insiders can also adjust a setting for their Series X|S' active hours and ability to be triggered for remote waking.

Xbox One owners will also get new power mode options other than Shutdown, some of which may result in slower boot times. 

In March 2022, Microsoft announced its intention to become a zero waste and carbon negative company by 2030. Part of the Xbox maker's plan involves designing products, packaging, and accessories that are 100 percent recyclable. A similar initiative was taken last year for Windows 11 PCs.

To help get players on board with the future Shutdown update, Microsoft has advised that players adjust their power options, choose automatic updates for their games and console, and choose a shorter window of time before an Xbox console shuts down after inactivity. 

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