Xbox Insiders are discovering their consoles' boot times have drastically improved in the latest build of the program.
The Insider program on Xbox Series X|S gives members the chance to road test new features early before they're released to the public. And it's Xbox director of integrated marketing, Josh Munsee himself, who revealed that the latest build has targeted faster boot times (thanks, The Shortcut (opens in new tab)).
Munsee replied to Xbox engineering lead Eden Marie on Twitter (opens in new tab), who had noticed the improvement on their console. He explains that the secret lies in a shorter boot animation that shaves off around five seconds total.
Can confirm - worked with @harrisonhoffman and @jakerose27 to create a shorter boot up animation (~4s) from the original boot up animation (~9s), helping to reduce the overall startup time.July 23, 2022
Give it the boot
This update might not seem particularly significant at first glance. Especially if (like me) you tend to leave your Xbox Series X|S in standby mode instead of shutting it down.
I think it's a very welcome update, though. The boot animation we have right now is a bit too lavish for its own good, and only really impressive when you turn the console on for the very first time.
Both the PS5 and the Nintendo Switch's boot times are currently much snappier by comparison. And this smart Xbox update will help the console close the gap in that regard, if only by a few seconds.
It seems that Microsoft has duly noted that most gamers want to access their Xbox dashboards as swiftly as possible. And getting to it five seconds quicker is a better quality-of-life update than you might think.
On the one hand, Xbox's standby features are excellent time savers. Quick Resume, especially, is amazing for jumping back into a game right where you left off almost instantly. But now knowing that boot times are going to be reduced, I'm personally more inclined to switch off my console completely after a gaming session.
It's true that standby mode on Xbox Series X|S isn't as power-hungry as you might think. But internal components do generate some heat when left in standby mode. This could make the console's overall speed less efficient in the long run if the internals are constantly active.
The boot time update comes as part of an already busy month for Xbox Insiders. It's hot on the heels of Xbox Discord integration which Insiders are getting to try out right now. Hopefully, it won't be long before Microsoft pushes both this, and the shorter boot animation out to Xbox gamers worldwide.