The update allows Xbox consoles to be “carbon conscious” when they need to perform game downloads and updates by connecting to the internet and checking for regional carbon intensity data. Microsoft says it will schedule updates during the nightly maintenance window for times that result in lower carbon emissions because more available electricity comes from low-carbon sources.
While the blog post encourages gamers to “choose what works best for you,” Xbox hasn’t yet rolled out the one-time switch to push users to the “Shutdown (energy saving)” setting, which uses significantly less power compared to keeping Sleep Mode on. all the time. It does mean a slightly longer boot process when you turn on your system, but Microsoft is also going to add new active hours settings that will put your system into fast-start sleep mode at times when you’re more inclined to play or want to play. to access it remotely.
Starting today, you can also use the Google Home app as a touch remote for Xbox consoles. Remote features include turning consoles on and off, navigation, play/pause, the ability to record game clips, and volume control.
Finally, the February Xbox dashboard update also includes a minor tweak to Home’s UI, allowing you to hide game art on the home screen. Microsoft has also added a quick way to see recent games in the dashboard, and it’s slowly rolling out to a “random subset of users” initially.
Correction, 7:14 PM ET: An earlier version of this story said the one-time power switch and new active hours settings are rolling out, in fact they haven’t been widely released yet, the durability options in the February update are the new “carbon conscious” downloads. We regret the mistake.