Xbox players can now enable "carbon aware" downloads on their console

Xbox Series X/S
(Image credit: Xbox)

Xbox has rolled out a brand new update today which will give players the option to switch on "carbon aware" downloads on their console.

As detailed on the Xbox website, the energy-saving mode will allow the console to schedule game, app, and OS updates for certain times in the day, more specifically, during the "nightly maintenance window". The idea behind this is that this could reduce carbon emissions as a higher proportion of electricity is coming from lower-carbon sources on the electric grid. 

The blog post explains that this could play a part in reducing fossil fuel dependency, CO2 emissions, and could even save the Xbox owner some money. This feature is available for Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Xbox One consoles, you just have to make sure that your Xbox is plugged in and connected to the internet - it will also need to have access to carbon intensity data to work.

In the same February update post, Xbox encourages players to explore their console's shutdown modes, specifically the energy-saving one. According to the post, selecting Shutdown (energy saving) instead of putting the console in Sleep mode can cut power use by up to 20x. The post also points out that "for every two consoles that use Shutdown (energy saving) for one year, we will save the equivalent amount of carbon removed by one tree planted and grown for a decade."  

Xbox first revealed its steps to more sustainable gaming in a different blog post last month. Not everyone was ready for the change though, as several US politicians shared their views on the new feature, criticizing Microsoft for being "woke" and challenging what the new feature would actually do to consoles.

The rest of the update includes features like the new hide background game art option (for a much tidier home screen) and will allow players to use their mobile phone as a remote control with the help of Google Assistant. 

Take a look at our upcoming Xbox Series X games list to find out what we've got to look forward to playing this year and beyond.

Hope Bellingham
News Writer

After studying Film Studies and Creative Writing at university, I was lucky enough to land a job as an intern at Player Two PR where I helped to release a number of indie titles. I then got even luckier when I became a Trainee News Writer at GamesRadar+ before being promoted to a fully-fledged News Writer after a year and a half of training.  My expertise lies in Animal Crossing: New Horizons, cozy indies, and The Last of Us, but especially in the Kingdom Hearts series. I'm also known to write about the odd Korean drama for the Entertainment team every now and then.