Radical conservatives drag Xbox into lame ‘anti-woke’ culture war. Don’t fall for it.

Fox News crying about Xbox
(Image credit: Windows Central)

What is called politics today is enough to put anyone off, regardless of party affiliation. Unfortunately, most of it is a distraction and is more concerned with clicks and views rather than policy. Such is the fate of Microsoft’s Xbox console, which already has a tough week (save for one great new game release).

For context, around two weeks ago, Microsoft announced it was making changes to the Xbox console in pursuit of carbon negativity. The shift was simple: Users on the Xbox Insider Program will notice that their consoles will now default to full shutdown mode rather than standby sleep mode. Doing so would let Xbox consume about 20x less power than sleep mode.

Even better, the console can still update games, apps, and system features overnight.

While cold booting on older Xbox consoles is slow, newer ones like the popular Xbox Series X|S only take a few seconds, making this a non-issue. Moreover (and this part is crucial): IT’S OPTIONAL. So yes, you can change the setting to sleep/standby and go on your merry way.

(This isn't even that new, as Microsoft first offered power-saving options for Xbox in 2015.)

The active hours section of Xbox settings. (Image credit: Microsoft)

All of this sounds innocuous, but it hasn’t stopped a few attention-seeking grifters from trying to drag Microsoft into the so-called culture wars, pitting fellow citizens against each over in an attempt to further divide us.

The conservative outlet The Blaze published an article on Monday (nearly a week after the Microsoft announcement) that “Xbox will force gamers to power down to fight climate change, touting the first ‘carbon aware console.’” The article is entirely accurate and doesn’t editorialize. Still, the headline with “force” and the fact The Blaze is not a gaming or tech outlet makes a strong implication that its target audience fully understands.

Case in point, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who spends a significant amount of time on Twitter, tweeted out the story with the comment, “First gas stoves, then your coffee, now they’re gunning for your Xbox.” Not to be left out was Texas Congressman Troy Nehls, who quite seriously tweeted, “They want to take your guns. They want to take your gas stoves. And now they want to take your Xbox. What’s next?”

(Image credit: Twitter)

Young America’s Foundation added more idiocy, remarking, “Lol now the woke brigade is after video games all in the name of climate change.” They also tweeted a lame attempt at a meme with a person labeled “Woke people” throwing an Xbox onto … a fire … for … I have no idea. I’m sure older people thought it was funny, however.

But wait, there’s more!

New York State Teen Republicans tweeted, “Xbox is going woke! You won’t be allowed to play or download games unless the “most renewable energy in your local grid” is being used. Meanwhile, China is building more coal mines. This woke insanity has to stop.”

(Image credit: Twitter)

And just for fun to dunk on is classic random “old guy” conservative, who shared his thoughts: “Big tech is pushing its woke green agenda to an extreme. Lefty Microsoft is doing firmware update that will force owners’ Xbox consoles to automatically shut down to save the environment. And people thought they owned their Xboxes.”

Of course, “force” is doing a lot of heavy lifting here since while shutting down is now a default behavior (which doesn’t stop it from updating games, apps, and system features), users can just set it to sleep/standby if they want.

All this reflects how broken, and dumb social media is these days. And while those on Windows Central are undoubtedly smart enough to see through the bullshit, many probably don’t because reading is hard.

Besides, even if you don’t care about the environment, considering how expensive electricity is these days, we should be thanking Microsoft.

Daniel Rubino

Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central. He is also the head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007, when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and watches. He has been reviewing laptops since 2015 and is particularly fond of 2-in-1 convertibles, ARM processors, new form factors, and thin-and-light PCs. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.