The new Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S consoles can potentially waste about 4 billion kWh of electricity in the United States by 2025. That is presently about the same amount produced by a large power plant in the country for a single year.
According to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council from earlier today, the instant-on feature makes Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S into environmentally unfriendly consoles. The environment-focused group states that instant-on will greatly increase energy consumption in the United States which will in turn increase carbon emissions to more than 3 million tons by 2025.
The instant-on feature allows Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S to instantly turn back on without any of the usual startup or loading times. The older Xbox One also had this feature and should not be confused with the new quick resume which the newer consoles have. While instant-on can cut the waiting time from about 45 seconds to 15 seconds, the consoles consume more power; about 10 watts of power a day to be exact even when not being used.
In a clarification given to Arstechnica in response, Microsoft stated that “if the console is in energy saving mode with automatic updates enabled, the console will wake, check for updates and download them during the maintenance window (if available), shutting down again after the download completes. This occurs once every 24 hours. If the console is in energy saving mode but the user has opted for automatic updates to be disabled, the console will only check for or download updates when the user manually does so from My Games & Apps.”
Microsoft is already researching new ways to reduce power consumption of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.