The Verge has reported that Microsoft will issue a one-time update that will switch all Xbox Series X|S consoles to Shutdown (Energy Saver) power mode. This move on the part of the Xbox maker is in keeping with its sustainability efforts as well as a cost-saving measure for Xbox users.
This switch will not be irreversible, however. Rather, this update will merely set the default power option for Xbox Series X|S consoles to Shutdown (Energy Saver). Users will still be able to set the power option to Sleep/Standby if they choose. The energy saver power mode default was only implemented in Series X|S consoles shipped since last March.
The Sleep/Standby power option allows users to boot the console instantly, but of course uses more energy while in Standby. Conversely, Shutdown uses less while the console is off but takes around 15 seconds to boot. Microsoft says 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.”
That really puts into perspective the power consumption gap between the two modes.
Today’s sustainability post on Xbox Wire announced that Xbox is the first gaming system to offer carbon aware downloads and updates. The post also points out other ways Xbox gamers can help, such as setting up a carbon aware Xbox by choosing automatic updates and selecting Shutdown (energy saver) as the power option.