In recent years, video game companies, including Microsoft and Xbox, have taken responsibility for their environmental impact. Recently, Xbox introduced a change to the power-saving options on their Series S and X consoles. This change will allow updates to games, apps, and the OS to occur “when renewable energy is most used in the local grid.”
Xbox has become the first gaming console to offer “carbon-aware game downloads and updates.” This feature is available in areas where partners Electricity Maps and WattTime can access energy grid data. They provide real-time energy mix readouts and can schedule updates for times when renewable energy is most used.
While this new initiative is a positive step, it conflicts with other aspects of Xbox’s business. In December, the company released a “mini controller hoodie” that received praise from the gaming press.
The video game industry is making progress in sustainability, but there is still much to do. Xbox’s recent move is a good start, but the industry must continue to strive for more sustainable practices and reduce its carbon footprint.