Microsoft is exploring energy-saving graphics modes for Xbox and Windows games

Xbox Series X and Series S with controllers
(Image credit: Future)

What you need to know

  • A new survey on the Xbox Insider Hub suggests Microsoft is looking to expand on its energy saving features for Xbox consoles and potentially PC games too.
  • Microsoft asks users how they feel about features that would reduce frame rates and resolution, thus reducing power consumption and saving money. 
  • Surveys don't necessarily mean we'll see a finished product out of it, but Microsoft's commitments to reducing its carbon footprint make these potential features a definitive candidate for development. 

Given the state of global power markets, Microsoft has placed a greater emphasis on energy saving as of late. One of the recent updates to Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles included a revamp of the power settings menu, giving you a better visual representation of how much energy you're likely to save while switching between power saving and standby modes. If these recent Xbox Insider Program surveys are to be believed, Microsoft may be exploring ways to take it a step further. 

A recent questionnaire I came across in the Xbox Insider app on Windows PC detailed a potential list of new features Microsoft is exploring for games across consoles and PC. These new features pertain specifically to opting-in to reduce frame rates, resolution, and so on, with the goal of limiting energy consumption. 

(Image credit: Windows Central)

Of course, surveys don't necessarily mean that these sorts of features will make it into a final product, but Microsoft's commitments to net zero carbon use have seen the firm increase its investments in this space. 

The survey asks users about their current feelings with regard to energy consumption, potentially polling users on how the energy crisis is affecting their willingness to spend. The survey asks users if they would be interested in features that reduce power consumption in games, both while the games are running and while they're inactive, specifically to save energy and thus money. Microsoft also asks users how they would prefer these features to be branded, with terms like "eco-saving" and "energy-saving," and even asks if these sorts of features would affect users' purchase decisions per game. 

It's hard to say just how much energy you could save by reducing a game's frame rate from 60 down to 30, but as energy markets across the world go through various forms of upheaval, it's pretty cool that Microsoft is exploring the idea. There are reports that the UK could face blackouts over the winter months, with European nations like Germany urging citizens to voluntarily reduce energy consumption. 

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!