Xbox has officially become the first console to offer carbon-aware game downloads and updates. Jonathan Hildebrandt, Principal Group Program Manager, Xbox Experiences, shared the news today in a post regarding the Xbox February Update, which is rolling out right now with sustainability updates and other features, including the ability to hide game art and the option of using the Google Home app as a touch remote control for Xbox. Microsoft explained last month that being carbon aware means reducing carbon footprint by optimizing updates and downloads to run at a time when the console can use the most renewable energy.
From an Xbox Wire post:
Xbox is now the first console to offer carbon aware game downloads and updates. When your console is plugged in, connected to the internet and regional carbon intensity data is available, Xbox will schedule game, app, and OS updates for your console at specific times during the nightly maintenance window that may result in lower carbon emissions because a higher proportion of electricity is coming from lower-carbon sources on the electric grid. This decreases fossil fuel dependency and CO2 emissions and could potentially save you money.
You can choose what works best for you and adjust your settings at any time. Shutdown (energy saving) cuts power use by up to 20x when it’s off compared to the Sleep power option. For every two consoles that switch to Shutdown (energy saving) for one year, we will save the equivalent amount of carbon removed by one tree planted and grown for a decade. This is based on an average of Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles on Shutdown (energy saving) for 20 hours per day for 1 year; actual energy savings and avoided emissions may vary by console and other factors using Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator | US EPA.