Microsoft goes green with Xbox One energy saving mode

Anyone setting up an Xbox One will be presented with the option of enabling the console's energy savings. At the moment, it is the Instant-on feature that is enabled by default, and few people delve into settings to change this later on.

By being upfront with the feature during the initial setup phases, Microsoft gives gamers the opportunity to reduce power consumption and lower electricity bills. As well as easing the impact console ownership has on wallets, it also helps to minimise its environmental impact.

Although users are now given a direct and obvious choice between the two settings, it is Energy-saving that appears as the first option.

Despite this, in a blog post introducing the new option, Microsoft is quick to point out that there are some comprises to make in switching to Energy-saving mode. As the name implies, Instant-on provides fast startup times, and these are forfeit.

Making the switch also means that updates are not automatically installed in the background, but you will still be notified when they are available for you to download and install - much as with the Xbox 360. It also kills the "Xbox on" voice command.

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Although the energy-saving feature is now being made more prominent than before, Microsoft is still keen to push the benefits of Instant-on:

"Only with this setting can you make game or content purchases from SmartGlass or Xbox.com and have the content download automatically to your home console. When factoring the monthly system updates, new features in apps and games and automatic mobile purchase downloads, the Instant-on setting easily saves users countless hours of needlessly waiting."

But there are real savings to be made by becoming a little more energy conscious.

Microsoft explains that with Instant-On enabled, people will pay between $6.50 and $15.50 per year. Switch to Energy-saving mode and this drops to $0.26 to $0.62.

The numbers involved may not be huge, but the real point here is taking tiny steps to reducing energy usage - any financial gain is really just a bonus. Looked at individually the financial and environmental savings may not seem like much, but add up the number of consoles out there and the potential is great.

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