Microsofts Tests a Night Mode for Xbox Consoles

Microsoft released a new build to the Alpha Skip-Ahead ring of the Xbox Insider Program to experiment with a Night Mode that should make it easier to game long after the sun goes down.

The company said that Xbox Insiders “can now dim and filter their screen, as well as dim their console & controller LED brightness,” by enabling Night Mode in their console’s Settings app.

Windows Central tested Night Mode and found that it’s effectively a blue light filter that can also enable dark mode, control the brightness of connected gamepads, and disable HDR playback. That means the feature’s impact can range from resolving minor nuisances, such as seeing a controller’s light reflected in a TV’s display, to dramatically changing the way a game looks.

The report also said Night Mode can be manually enabled in Settings, set to a specific schedule, or told to follow the sun’s movement by automatically turning on at sunset and off at sunrise. (Just in case someone made the mistake of turning on their Xbox late at night without remembering to set up Night Mode ahead of time.) It can be manually disabled, too.

These features all bring Night Mode in line with similar tools on other platforms. Apple developed Night Shift for its hardware, Google made Night Light for Android, and Microsoft built a feature of the same name into Windows 10. The features vary in their implementation, but the general idea of reducing blue light and dimming the display remains the same across those platforms.

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Microsoft said that Night Mode is currently limited to Xbox consoles set to use English because “localization is still pending.” It also said the new build made various bug fixes related to launching apps, Xbox Cloud Gaming, and language support throughout its console. More information about the Xbox Insider Program is available on the company’s website.

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