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Xbox surveying Insiders on new energy consumption features

Would you sacrifice frame rate to save the planet?

Xbox is surveying Insiders on new energy consumption features.

A questionnaire on the Xbox Insider app, spotted by Windows Central, is gauging the potential popularity of new energy efficiency features on PC and console.

That includes the possibility of in-game features that can optimise settings (resolution, frame rate, etc) to save energy, and games automatically lowering frame rate or resolution when left idle or inactive.

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It also asks about how long players spend in games, how concerned they are with energy bills, and whether they're worried about energy saving features negatively affecting gameplay.

(Image credit: Windows Central)

The survey suggests Microsoft is looking into potential new features, though there's no guarantee they will be implemented.

Eurogamer has asked Microsoft for comment on the outcome of the survey.

It's further proof of the company's goals to reduce its environmental impact and operate as a carbon negative, water positive and zero waste company by 2030.

Trista Patterson, Director of Gaming Sustainability, told Eurogamer Microsoft is "exploring ways [it] can improve energy efficiency through software updates".

That includes improvements to the Xbox energy saver sleep mode and making this the default option.

"There are many factors that influence the environmental impact of gaming on a console compared to gaming on a PC. It's not as simple as only looking at the platform from which you play, but how you play and how a game is developed. Other factors include length of a gaming session, the size of the game played, the number and frequency of content updates the game releases, the features supported by the game, and the game programmers' decisions on how to utilise system resources," said Patterson.

"Players appreciate cutting-edge features, and at times, these require increasing amounts of power consumption. We encourage and explore many ways in which developers can consider efficiency, such as areas beyond gameplay like menus, lobbies and loading screens.

"Our ambitions are high, and we recognize we still have a long way to go, but we're committed to minimising gaming's impact on the environment because it is critically important that we get this right for the planet."

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Ed Nightingale

Deputy News Editor

Ed has an interest in streaming, people and communities, and giving a voice to marginalised people.