The urge to game happens at different points throughout the day, and the Xbox Series X is about to make it easier for people who want to play at more unsociable hours. Because it’s publicly testing a new ‘Night Mode’.
The idea is that Night Mode will make it much more comfortable to play after dark. That means dimmer screens and hardware lights, as well as an optional blue light filter to help reduce eye strain.
But while a public test is underway, it’s not just open to anyone. Only Xbox Insiders in the Alpha Skip-Ahead ring can participate. However, it appears that those who do have access to the new feature get to enjoy a lot of customization so they can make Night Mode suit their needs.
According to a video from The Verge’s Tom Warren, Night Mode can be found in an Xbox’s settings menu, under the preferences tab. Once there users have almost complete control over what happens. Night Mode itself can be toggled manually, or you can set it up to activate on a schedule. Like the blue light filter on some phones, this can be set to happen at fixed times or based on the sunset/rise cycle.
Night Mode also gives you control over how dim your display gets and how much blue light is filtered out, with a sliding scale. Users are also able to block HDR, and dim the amount of light emitted by both the console power button and the home button on the Xbox controller.
In theory, this could also let you switch off the light from both bits of Xbox hardware all the time — even if you don’t alter what the picture on your TV actually looks like.
The only thing Night Mode doesn’t do is lower the volume of your TV, which might be nice to account for the fact people in nearby rooms or apartments may be sleeping.
Of course, Night Mode isn’t a stable feature yet, and there are likely to be various changes that occur as it goes through various stages of testing. We still hope that the bulk of the current features stick around, and roll out as a feature for everyone.
We already have similar features on phones and PCs, and it’s about time consoles got in on that action as well. Hopefully testing on Xbox means that the PS5 will also get in on the action, and maybe even Nintendo Switch.