Xbox One adds 'energy-saving' option to the set-up process

Anyone who buys a brand new Xbox One will be prompted with a special screen when booting up the console for the first time: A choice between "instant-on" and "energy-saving" power modes. The default in the US is instant-on, which enables updates and content downloads while the console isn't in use, and lets users yell at their Xbox Ones to turn them on. The energy-saving mode consumes less power and can save players an average of $6 to $15 per year in the US, Microsoft says. This isn't a new mode, but the move to offer power choices up front follows a March blog post from the Natural Resources Defense Council that was critical of the Xbox One's always-on default.

"Although Microsoft reduced the power drain from its 'instant-on' mode from 18 watts to 12.5 watts, the mode is still the default when it comes out of the box and the user is not even given the option to disable it during the initial setup," the NRDC wrote. The new prompt directly addresses this criticism (Side note: Microsoft says instant-on mode uses 15 watts).

Existing Xbox One owners can make the power switch themselves by going to "Power & startup" under Settings. Change your power mode because you want to save some cash, because you're thinking about the environment, or if you want to hear your significant other scream "XBOX, ON" tonight in increasingly frustrated tones before they figure out it's just not going to happen.