Xbox Series X is getting a neat upgrade that could help you save energy

Xbox Series X console
(Image credit: Phil Barker/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

With the price of energy on the rise, and cost of living becoming more expensive, it pays to avoid wasting power on unnecessary things. The Xbox Series X has gained a reputation for being a power sink, especially in standby mode. Microsoft is helping out by adding energy usage readings to the console.

As spotted by The Verge’s Tom Warren, Xbox Insiders now have access to a brand new menu in the General area of the settings. “Power options” appears to be a complete overhaul of the Xbox Series X’s power-centric settings. That includes a power consumption meter and renaming existing power options to something a little easier to understand.

At the moment the Xbox’s power options can be found in the “Sleep mode and startup” menu, and offers two choices: Energy saver and Standby. The screen does state that Standby is necessary for remote features to work, but requires 20 times more energy than Energy Saver when the console is not in use.

The menu is informative, but it’s hardly flush with detailed information, which is why the new Power Options menu is a welcome addition. Not only does the new screen look nicer, the information has all been placed in the most relevant spots. Energy saver and Standby have also been renamed to Shut-down and Sleep, which makes the purpose of each mode a little more obvious.

But the biggest addition will always be the power-usage meter — showing just how much energy the Xbox will utilize when it’s not in use. More importantly it’s being displayed in a way people can understand far more effectively than a simple written statistic.

According to Warren’s screenshot, the energy-saving Shut-down means the Xbox will use just 0.5 watts compared to the 13-15 watts used in Sleep mode. That’s a very big difference, and over time that consumption will add up. 

It is worth mentioning that Shut-down still allows the Xbox to automatically update overnight, which will cause a spike in power consumption. If you don’t want to do that you’ll have to manually disconnect your console from the network or power supply when you’re done. That’s kind of a pain, but since there’s no option to turn off automatic updates en masse it’s the simplest option.

The new feature hasn’t made its way to the gaming public so far, and there’s no telling when it might arrive. So for now it remains an Xbox Insider exclusive feature. If you’re too impatient to wait for the public release, you can get yourself signed up by following the instructions on Microsoft’s support site.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.