Xbox survey suggests cutting frame rate and 4K to save energy consumption

Microsoft is brainstorming ideas to automatically reduce frame rate and effects like ray-tracing, to make the Xbox more energy efficient.

Now that energy usage is such a hot topic it’s clear that Microsoft has become concerned that the Xbox Series X uses more than the PlayStation 5. They’ve already taken steps to make it clearer how much energy its consoles are using, but a new survey suggests they’re considering going further.

No official announcement has been made yet but a new survey on the Xbox Insider Hub asks whether you would be willing to reduce the frame rate and resolution of games, in order to consume less power (and money).

Much will no doubt depend on what the results of this survey are, but apart from suggesting various new options it also asks gamers how they feel about their current energy consumption and if they’ve been cutting back on video game spending recently.

The survey is basically a list of options that Microsoft is, presumably, considering for the future, including reducing the frame rate and resolution, as well as switching off processor heavy visual effects and reducing GPU usage – no specifics are given but this would likely include effects like ray-tracing.

Microsoft also asks about the length of your gaming sessions and how much you play co-op and multiplayer, before asking if you’d want an option that automatically lowered the frame rate and resolution when a game is left idle.

The survey was first noticed by Windows Central and also includes possible branding name options, including ‘eco-saving’ and ‘energy-saving’.

Having the Xbox be the least energy efficient of the three consoles is an obvious issue for Microsoft, especially given the company’s commitment to net zero carbon, but given the situation this winter it’s likely looking to implement new energy saving options as soon as possible.

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