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The Xbox One is potentially wasting energy, but Microsoft wants you to know that it doesn’t have to.
In a blog update, Microsoft details the various power options of the Xbox One. These include the “Instant On” mode as well as the “Energy-saving” mode. Instant On is a feature where the Xbox One constantly runs even when it’s “off.” This enables it to do a number of cool tricks, like downloading and updating games and apps over night. But this means it always needs a steady flow of electricity, which can have a pretty major impact considering that Microsoft has sold more than 10 million Xbox Ones worldwide. In its energy-saving mode, however, the Xbox One shuts down completely.
In late March, the National Resource Defense Council, an environmental group, claimed that Xbox Ones in Instant On mode are costing gamers around $250 million in electric bills a year on a global scale.
“Even when it looks like your Xbox One is off, it’s still drawing significant amounts of power continuously waiting for you to say ‘Xbox on’ around-the-clock,” NRDC director and senior scientist Noah Horowitz wrote in a blog. “[This includes] when you’re sound asleep or when your video game-loving child is at school.”
We reached out at the time to Microsoft about this claim, and it said that it included the energy-saving mode for people who were worried about this exact thing. But now, with its official Xbox blog, Microsoft is actively informing gamers about their options.
“While we believe Instant-on provides the best experience for our fans, we also believe in providing consumer choice which is why we offered the Energy-saving mode,” reads Microsoft’s post. “This lower power state consumes less energy and can save customers an average of $6 to $15 in energy costs per year in the U.S. This mode does not provide the added value of background updating.”
While the NRDC was asking that Microsoft to make energy-saving the default, the company did concede to another NRDC request: It now gives players the option to select energy-saving mode during the initial console setup. The company is even promising to make continual improvements to the Xbox One’s power consumption.
“As we continue to evolve the Xbox One experience, we are bringing this power choice front and center,’ reads the blog. “In the coming months, new Xbox One owners around the world will be prompted with this choice in the initial console set-up process.”
Once again, Microsoft proves that it’s listening and is willing to make smart changes that fans or critics wants.