Team Xbox continues to deliver new ways to make Xbox better, with you at the center, as we refine the experience and deliver brand new features based on your feedback. This month’s update brings updates to Xbox power management, the ability to hide game art by selecting tiles in the background of your Xbox Home, access to new touch controls in the Google Home app to control your Xbox just like you you do with other smart devices.
Xbox is the first console to offer carbon-conscious game downloads and updates
Last month we share sustainability updates for Xbox that were rolled out to Xbox Insiders. Today, the following update will begin rolling out to all Xbox consoles:
- Xbox is the first console to offer carbon-conscious game downloads and updates. When your console is plugged in, connected to the Internet, and regional carbon intensity data is available, Xbox will schedule game, app, and operating system updates for your console at specified times during the nightly maintenance window which may result in higher carbon emissions. due to a higher proportion of electricity coming from low-carbon sources in the electricity grid. This reduces reliance on fossil fuels and CO2 emissions and could save you money.
- Choose what best suits your needs and adjust your settings at any time. Power Off (Energy Saver) reduces power usage by up to 20 times when off compared to standby power. For every two consoles switched to Off (energy saving) over a year, we’ll save the equivalent amount of carbon removed by a tree planted and grown over a decade. This is based on an average of Xbox Series X|S and Xbox One consoles turned Off (power saving) for 20 hours per day for 1 year; Actual energy savings and avoided emissions may vary based on console and other factors using the Greenhouse Gas Equivalency Calculator | US EPA
Hide game art when selecting tiles on Start
Some gamers find the game’s art distracting or prefer a more simplified background while navigating their home screen. With this new feature, you’ll be able to hide game art so it no longer replaces your Home background every time you move to select a game tile. Instead, the Start background will always be the solid color of your choice. To adjust your background, go to Settings > General > Personalization > My Background > Solid Color and Game Art. On this page, you will be able to choose to show or hide the game art with the switch at the bottom right of the screen.
Use the Google Home app as a touch remote for your Xbox console.
Since 2019, you can control your Xbox console using voice commands with the Google Assistant. Today, we’re partnering with Google so you can use the Google Home app as a touch remote for your Xbox console. Now when you add your Xbox console to your Google Home app, you’ll be able to easily turn your console on and off, navigate the screen, control media playback, and more. Use the Google Home app to control your Xbox just like you do with other Smart Home devices.
To get started, open the Google Home app on your phone. Swipe down to update your devices and touch your Xbox console to bring up the touch controls. Remote control features include: power on/off, directional navigation, navigate home, navigate back, play/pause, skip/previous, volume up/down, mute/unmute, and record game clip.
Join a group with your friends
We’re experimenting with a few different experiences to make it easier to get back into a group with your friends. As we roll this out, a random subset of users will be able to try it out. To get started, go to the “Groups & Chats” tab in the guide for your Xbox console. Click the “Group” or “Group History” button. You’ll find a list of your previous groups, which you can use to restart one of those groups or create a new one. You can also easily select which friends you would like to invite.
Help shape the future of Xbox
We love hearing from the community, whether you have a suggestion for a new feature you’d like to see added, or you want to give feedback on existing features that could be improved. From capturing games and sharing improvements to helping games load faster, new ways to connect with your gaming community, and much more, we’re always listening and looking for ways to improve Xbox experiences for gamers around the world. If you’d like to help shape the future of Xbox and get early access to new features, download the Xbox Insider Hub on your Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, or Windows PC. We want to know your opinion!