On January 11, 2023, Microsoft announced that it would bring green features to the Xbox, namely the ability to run downloads, updates, and general maintenance on the console while power demand is low. During this time, power tends to come from “low carbon on-grid sources”. Microsoft has been adamant that users can opt out of this mechanic, and that it will not negatively affect users who wish to use it.
This is part of Microsoft’s growing initiative to offset its carbon footprint, a goal that began with Windows 11 updates that became carbon-conscious, offering the same functionality with little to no adverse effects. This came to a head on Monday, January 23, as Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz retweeted an article from conservative outlet The Blaze regarding the new power options.
The article referenced that Ted Cruz chose to tweet in his support contains a healthy number of errors, which can be seen when directly comparing The Blaze to Microsoft’s announcement. Microsoft does not require users to keep Xboxes turned off for 20 hours per day. Turning off the console is different from turning off (saving power) in that it can continue downloading and save for maintenance. Conversions are based on the EPA’s Equation Calculator.
Senator Ted Cruz may be most famous in the gaming industry for his remarks during the NRA Conference on May 27, where he stated that Video games and church shortages cause violence – Not ready to access firearms. This was a direct response to the Uvalde tragedy, for which the NRA was soon held.
For many, this new position that Senator Cruz has chosen to take, as he appears to be fighting the “wake mob” and their attempt to reduce the drain on energy grids and carbon emissions, is an interesting one. Considering the rolling blackouts of the state represented by Senator Cruz led to an estimate 246 people die due to loss of energy In the winter of 2021, his attitude to power as a whole is remarkable.
Now, some Republicans are already clutching their pearls as Microsoft pushes to give up their carbon footprint, and help console owners do so. It should be noted that it is common for energy companies to ask users to avoid using large amounts of electricity during what is referred to as “peak hours”, when electricity is in greatest demand and thus comes at a higher price.