When we first started working on Xbox One a few years ago, we set out to build upon all of the things that made Xbox 360 great, and also address some of the things our fans found frustrating.
Two areas we sought to improve were how Xbox One updated the system, apps and game content and also how the console consumed power. In both areas, we were able to innovate and make improvements thanks to feedback from fans and partners in the power industry.
With the “Instant-on” power setting we solved an age-old problem of system updates that interrupted gaming and entertainment experiences and frustrated our users. This was easily a top concern shared by Xbox 360 owners.
With this power setting, the Xbox One is always up-to-date delivering updates and downloading content while the console is not actively being used. 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.
Instant-on also revolutionized the way you can control your entertainment with voice commands that allow you to power on the console with a simple request: “Xbox on.”
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. 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.
By providing multiple power states in Xbox One and empowering our fans with choice, we sought to balance energy efficiency and functionality. At the same time, we know many Xbox One fans are vigilant about their household’s energy consumption; after all, environmental leadership often begins at home.
It was that same personal leadership that drove our teams in the product design phase to maximize computational power per watt and drive significant improvements in how power is used in Xbox One. Even though the Xbox One is significantly more powerful with more feature functionality than Xbox 360, at launch it used about the same amount of power. This is possible because of the scalable architecture in Xbox One where it uses only the power it needs at the moment for the task at hand.
But we didn’t stop there: Our commitment to innovation continued. As we demonstrated with Xbox 360, we improved power consumption over time and we are doing the same with Xbox One. Since Xbox One launched, we’ve reduced the power consumed while in Instant-on by a third. At Microsoft, sustainability is core to our business practices—we continue to work to reduce the environmental impact of our products and services, and we are committed to carbon neutrality as a company.
As we continue to evolve the Xbox One experience, we are bringing this power choice front and center. In the coming months, new Xbox One owners around the world will be prompted with this choice in the initial console set-up process. Current Xbox One owners can easily make changes to their power consumption choices now in Settings under Power & start up.
We hope current and new Xbox fans will take the time to learn about the differences between Instant-on and Energy-saving settings so that they are empowered to make the choice that best fits their gaming and entertainment lifestyle.
*While individual energy costs vary, on average U.S. customers can expect to spend about $6.50 to $15.50 per year for “Instant-on” and about $0.26 to $0.62 per year for “Energy-saving” mode; EU customers can expect to spend about €7.25 to €27.50 per year for “Instant-on” and about €0.29 to €1.10 per year for “Energy-saving” mode.