A firmware update for Microsoft's Xbox Series X console promises to make the incredibly fast system even speedier. Microsoft's Xbox Insider ring is now distributing a new firmware release that has managed to cut boot times by five seconds. For users that power up their consoles at least once a day, that means around 30 extra gaming minutes per year — time which you can then waste browsing the Xbox Games Pass library.
The firmware update does use a bit of a cheat, though: it reduces the duration of the power-on Xbox logo, which used to take nine seconds, to five seconds. One would wonder if this reduced boot time is only due to a shortened intro, however, considering all the work Microsoft has been pouring on Direct Storage — referring to Microsoft's technology built to allow both consoles and the PC to take full advantage of the latest SSD's blazing-fast speeds (You can see our list of the fastest SSDs if you want the best).
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
Interestingly, even the original Xbox One has seen improved boot times with the new firmware update, according to Jake Rosenberg, senior product manager lead at Xbox.
The speedup applies to cold boot, or what Microsoft terms "Power Saver" mode, effectively turns the console off. Where it last took 20 seconds, it should now only take 15 seconds from this state until your profile is loaded towards the console's home screen.
Unfortunately, the firmware is only being distributed to Xbox Insiders, which take part in Microsoft's Beta program to receive firmware and software updates ahead of time. Microsoft allows anyone to apply to be an Insider, so you could do it yourself and benefit from faster boot times today. Do however keep in mind that these updates aren't finalized and may not have all the bugs ironed out.