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Carbon neutral Xbox battles Sony PS5 low-power mode as gaming goes green

The new gaming battleground is environmental friendliness. Microsoft has announced it is making Xbox hardware carbon neutral, initially as part of a pilot program.

With the United Nation’s Climate Summit underway, Microsoft has committed to making a batch of 825,000 carbon neutral consoles, before a larger effort to reduce and neutralise its carbon impact.

In a blog post, Microsoft said its business operations have been carbon neutral since 2012, but the time come to extend these efforts to hardware.

The company’s chief environment officer Lucas Joppa wrote: “Today we are beginning the journey of extending that to our products and devices with a pilot to make 825,000 Xbox consoles carbon neutral.

“These are the first gaming consoles to be carbon neutral. While just a pilot, we’re already looking at what we can do to further reduce and neutralise carbon across devices in the future.”

Microsoft’s vow comes after Sony revealed its next-generation PlayStation 5 console will introduce a new low-power suspend mode, meaning it will consume less power when inactive.

In a blog post, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan said: “The next generation PlayStation console will include the possibility to suspend gameplay with much lower power consumption than PS4. If just one million users enable this feature, it would save equivalent to the average electricity use of 1000 US homes.”

There’s also a wider effort on behalf of the gaming big hitters like Google, SuperCell, Ubisoft, Twitch and Wild Works. In the case of Google, it will “produce a new Sustainable Game Development Guide as well as funding research into how “green nudges” can be effectively incorporated into game play” for its new Stadia streaming platform (via Unenvironment).

Last week, you may recall Sports Interactive, the developer of the Football Manager franchise, announced it was switching to recycled packaging materials for its beloved management sim. This will eliminate 20 million tonnes of plastic waste.

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