Microsoft’s recent pledge to look into the impacts of making devices easier to repair could lead to a more accessible and repairable Xbox.
As we recently reported, Microsoft has been urged by the shareholder advocacy group As You Sow to analyze and consider the “environmental and social benefits” of making its devices easier to repair.
After plenty of badgering, Microsoft finally agreed to comply with the requests, announcing that they will launch a study into how increasing parts availability could reduce contributions to climate change and e-waste.
Microsoft further pledged to act on their findings by the end of 2022, revealing in a statement that they will use the results of the study to “guide our product design and plans for expanding device repair options for our customers.”
This pledge from Microsoft should, hopefully, lead to more easily repairable Xbox’s, as well as other devices, thanks to greater parts availability, which in turn would also drive the cost of repair down.
Unfortunately, however, since the Xbox Series X and S were designed under the companies previous repair restricting mindset, we may not see the full benefits of this study and pledge until the next generation of consoles, or the mid-generation refresh, rolls around in a few years time. Once it does, we could hopefully see more modular and accessible consoles that don’t need to be entirely replaced if something goes wrong.
Previously, Microsoft has been rather opposed to the right-to-repair movement in the legislature, often being accused of making their devices purposefully difficult to repair, with very limited parts availability which would only be distributed to authorised repair partners.
As a result, even simple repairs could become quite a costly and time-consuming process, often leading consumers to purchase more devices and produce more e-waste, which will negatively affect the climate.