Microsoft has announced that in the coming months, people who buy new Xbox One devices will make a choice on how the console uses energy during the initial set-up process.
Currently, the Xbox One defaults to its "Instant-on" mode, which allows the console to receive updates and content downloads when it is not being actively used. However, some environmental groups have expressed concerns that the "Instant-on" mode causes the Xbox One to use much more power overall than in its "Energy-saving" mode, which does not allow the console to download updates in the background.
Today, Microsoft said:
"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."
Microsoft also claims that since the launch of the Xbox One, software updates to the console have allowed the power consumed during "Instant On" mode to be cut down by "a third". Any Xbox One owner can go into "Settings" and then "Power & start up." to change the energy settings on the console if they wish.