In 2014, the Natural Resources Defense Council slammed the Xbox One and PS4 for their high power consumption by highlighting the energy that gets wasted by these systems in their default offline state. It also outlined that by having your consoles set to a certain mode of power usage, consumers will be spending more than $1 billion to operate annually on their electricity bill.
Microsoft are now addressing this issue for their Xbox One console. There are two types of power usage on the Xbox One. The one that has been causing all this trouble is the Instant-on mode. This allows your console to download updates for games while it is ‘turned off’ as well as providing the system with a faster startup time. The alternative is to use the Energy-saving method. This has a slower startup time and won’t download updates when the console is off, but it will naturally save energy and you money.
The key problem is that initially the option to change this setting was buried beneath a number of menus, and to make matters worse the console is set to Instant-on by default, meaning that many gamers are spending ridiculous amounts of money on their electricity without knowing the cause. Microsoft isn’t doing away with the Instant-on mode, because it’s part of what makes the console more advanced, but encouragingly the company is going to move the option to choose between the two modes to the initial startup menu. This means that when a customer buys a new Xbox One, they will be asked which state they want their console to be in almost immediately, meaning that ther should be little confusion.
So why not consider deactivating Instant-on? Sure, it has its benefits but it’s costing you money and draining valuable resources. I’ve never had the luxury of experiencing background downloads for myself so I can’t pretend that it would be an easy feature to drop, but will it really be so hard to deal with a few updates now and then?