Microsoft addresses Xbox One energy usage criticism

Microsoft has issued a statement about the energy consumption of the Xbox One following criticism from an environmental group.

Late last month, Noah Horowitz of the Natural Resources Defense Council posted a blog accusing the Xbox One’s ‘Instant On’ mode – which keeps the box in a lower-power state when not in use, in order to download updates and games in the background – of being ‘wasteful’ and ‘power-guzzling’.

Horowitz estimated that $250 million in additional energy bills was being spent in total by US owners unaware that their console remained ‘on’ when not in use, and that Instant On accounts for 40 per cent of all of the energy used by the machine.

Now Microsoft has retorted, posting on the Xbox Wire blog about the Xbox One’s power usage.

It states that the Instant On mode was long-requested by fans, and that the mode’s efficiency has been improved since the console’s launch, with energy consumption reduced by a third in comparison with the feature at launch.

It also highlights the Xbox One’s ‘Energy-saving’ mode, which uses less energy and, it’s claimed, saves users between $6 (4) and $15 (10) in bills each month. The feature removes the console’s ability to download applications in the background, as well as other abilities.

Seemingly in response to Horowitz’ criticism that many consumers were unaware that their machine was using extra power by default, Microsoft also commented that new Xbox One purchasers would be given the option to choose between the Instant On and Energy-saving modes when they first boot up their machine in ‘coming months’.

Players can currently select between the modes via the One’s Power and Start Up settings menu.

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