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NRDC Rates Energy Efficiency of Video Game Consoles 260

Posted by timothy
from the real-costs-for-illusory-worlds dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Today, more than 40 percent of all homes in the United States contain at least one video game console. Recognizing that all that gaming could add up to serious demand for electricity, NRDC and Ecos Consulting performed the first ever comprehensive study on the energy use of video game consoles and found that they consumed an estimated 16 billion kilowatt-hours per year — roughly equal to the annual electricity use of the city of San Diego. Through the incorporation of more user-friendly power management features, we could save approximately 11 billion kWh of electricity per year, cut our nation's electricity bill by more than $1 billion per year, and avoid emissions of more than 7 million tons of CO2 each year. In this November 2008 issue paper, NRDC provides recommendations for users, video game console manufacturers, component suppliers and the software companies that design games for improving the efficiency of video game consoles already in homes as well as future generations of machines yet to hit the shelves." The full report is freely downloadable as a PDF.
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NRDC Rates Energy Efficiency of Video Game Consoles

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  • First Solution (Score:2, Interesting)

    by sexconker (1179573)

    Destroy San Diego

    • by ShieldW0lf (601553) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:09PM (#25821691) Journal

      The thing they're ignoring is the Fun factor.

      If you want to measure efficiency, you do it by comparing energy consumed to work accomplished.

      So, if console A has a fun factor of 5, and consumes 1 unit of energy, but console B has a fun factor of 15 and consumes 2 units of energy, then console B is more efficient.

      The only way to solve this equation is to understand the value of fun.

      Clearly, we need to create a International Fun Agency to test for this if we're ever going to make our games more efficient, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, reduce taxes and save the children.

      • Re:First Solution (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Nursie (632944) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:34PM (#25822141)

        Ah, but the western governments would soon institute a ministry of fun, and that would quickly come to the realisation that it would be best for the children if fun were banned entirely.

      • by Moryath (553296) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:41PM (#25822243)

        Here's an easy solution.

        MS and Sony (and Nintendo) should make a series of simple alterations to their programming and production line machines, as follows:

        #1 - When you hit the power button, it goes OFF. Not just "low power", and certainly not Sony's PS3 "still burning more energy than a 75W light bulb" mode.

        I recognize this will lose the remote-control ease of "powering up" the device using the Home/Xbox/Power button from the controller. Tough. Get up and walk the fucking five feet to the box to turn it on. I also recognize that this may not be possible with the current already-installed base (though I bet the PS3 could spin down a hell of a lot more than it does).

        But even if you can't do this to the currently-installed base, you can CERTAINLY do this next one:

        #2 - Enough with the damn system clock. If you want to have a clock, have it ping an NTP server somewhere (heck, give the user a choice of which government or private-industry one they want to ping) for the time when it comes up. If it comes up without a clock and the user doesn't bother with the setting, the user obviously doesn't worry enough about it to care. The only thing you use it for anyways is marking a time/datestamp on savegames, which could just as easily be stored as the amount of gameplay time spent in the game rather than time/datestamping. Not only that, but your system clocks suck and have to be regularly reset anyways. Neither the Wii, nor Xbox360, nor PS3 is programmed to be a PVR or anything like that, so they have no reason to have a clock. At all.

        Same thing for so many other devices: there is no reason for my coffee maker, or my toaster [freedomblogging.com], or anything else to know what time it is. None. At all. I am not, I swear to god am NOT, going to put two pieces of toast in the toaster when I leave for work, then call home and enter a six-digit code from my cell phone when I'm 10 minutes away just so I have hot toast waiting after I walk in the door. And even if I did, that function would STILL not require my toaster to know what time it was, only that it had just received a code saying "toast. Now." And when I consider that the amount of energy my toaster expended simply waiting for that command could probably toast a whole fucking loaf, even having it networked in the first place is a waste of energy.

        Added bonus: users could just hit the power switch on their surge protector to REALLY cut everything off if they want to, without having to worry about resetting the clocks later. The one reason I don't do this nowin my living room is that it's annoying enough to have to reset clocks after a 5-minute power outage, I don't want to have to do every time just to play a game. I do, on the other hand, do this for my various kitchen gadgets that have "standby" modes and they've never missed a beat (even found, after much research, a microwave model where I don't have to reset the fucking clock just to cook something).

        We waste far too much power on "standby" modes for everything, and it's getting annoyingly hard to even find a device that truly turns OFF any more.

        Finally, a note to EVERY company that makes products:

        I DO NOT NEED TO HAVE A GLOWING RED LIGHT JUST TO KNOW MY DEVICE IS TURNED OFF.

        I mean seriously, my living room looks like it's fucking christmas even when everything's turned off. I kill the lights and the collection of little red LED's from my TV, stereo system, and vcr/dvd player/game systems is collectively bright enough for me to see my black cat sneaking around to try to run between my legs and trip me while I go upstairs to bed. My various electronic devices stare out at me in the night like a deranged collection of fruit fuckers [rainslick.com].

        If it's on, I expect a status light perhaps. A happy little, not-too-bright green light or a system clock (for an older VCR or Tivo or something) saying "yeah, I'

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by stonefoz (901011)
          Today a proper walltime clock, without display pulls nano-watts. Check mouser.com, they're cheapish and some have there own charging circuit/battery combo. It's not that the manufacturers are adding useless frills, it that they don't care on implementation. Cheapest always win if you can't see the difference on the store shelf. I've worked in TV repair shops and so few devices cut anything but the highest power circuits while going into standby, most vcrs and dvd players seem to just cut the display if anyt
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by thepotoo (829391)

          I DO NOT NEED TO HAVE A GLOWING RED LIGHT JUST TO KNOW MY DEVICE IS TURNED OFF.

          I've heard that the 360 has no less than THREE red lights that come on just to let you know when the system is on (otherwise it's impossible to determine on from off). Seems like overkill to me, but what do I know.

        • The worst is the current obsession with ultra-bright blue LEDs. My external HDD glows bright enough to actually read by. My HP laptop has thousands of ultra bright blue LEDs too, which flicker madly when its sleeping. My Wii decides to flash in a blinding blue at random intervals (which again, illuminates my bedroom bright enough to make sleep impossible). My other computer has a blue status light that also is bright enough to read by, and worse it flashes rapidly when sleeping.

          ENOUGH WITH THE BLUE LIGHTS! I don't understand the attraction, perhaps it looks futuristic or something, they just annoy me. Especially since they hit the edge of the visible spectrum a bit, and appear to swim (disembodied from their source) out of the corner of my eye.

          I do though, enjoy Apple's sleeping indicator, it is slightly relaxing and subdued.

          I'm sick of arrogant electronics, that want me to pay attention to them at all times. I like to be able to ignore my gadgets. I already payed money for them, why should they care if I spend time with them?

      • If you want to measure efficiency, you do it by comparing energy consumed to work accomplished.

        So, if console A has a fun factor of 5, and consumes 1 unit of energy, but console B has a fun factor of 15 and consumes 2 units of energy, then console B is more efficient.

        Actually, console A is more efficient, as can be easily shown. Efficiency is work/energy. And everyone knows fun is the inverse of work -- if it was fun, it wouldn't be called work, as is also evidenced by the fact that the more fun your cons

  • Yeah, right... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:02PM (#25821615) Homepage Journal

    Through the incorporation of more user-friendly power management features

    On consoles, it's called the "power button".

    Suggesting console manufacturers implement power-saving features is like asking Ferrari or Hummer to make their vehicles as efficient as a Corolla or Civic.

    Power-saving measures make sense for PCs and especially for servers because there's a LOT of inertia involved in powering them on and off. Load times are bad enough as far as consoles are concerned -- introducing yet more waiting is a bad idea. I'll work off my potential guilt by riding my bike to the store instead of driving after playing XBox360 or PS3.

    • by Rayeth (1335201)

      It would be nice if they also didn't put that button on the ass back of the machine. If it was say right next to the eject button or at least on the front.

      Also I bet a lot of this comes from people leaving PS2s/PS3s in standby (does the Xbox/Wii have something similar?). It is deceptive to think that pressing that button actually turns the system off when it doesn't.

      • by Gulthek (12570)

        The Wii does, the XBox360 doesn't.

      • Re:Yeah, right... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Nursie (632944) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:21PM (#25821887)

        I read an interesting article on the standby issue a while back, can't remember who by. Basically it came down to this -

        Switching off, rather than going to standby saves a tiny bit of power and is a good thing. Howvere, when looking at energy efficiency as a whole it's almost entirely insignificant compared to use of hot water or other modern day conveniences. Can't be bother to turn your devices of standby but want to make the same cut in energy use? Take one less shower every six months. Or run the washing machine one less time, maybe by wearing a pair of trousers for a day longer once in a while.

        If we *really* want to cut energy usage, we need to look at the things people take for granted, not "make sure to unplug your playstation at night".

        • by geobeck (924637)

          I deal with that kind of thinking every day. I'm trying to convince management to install auxiliary power units on our heavy equipment so we can save tens of thousands of litres of fuel a year, and the operator can keep the heat and the computer on while waiting for the next movement, but what kinds of suggestions do I get for energy savings? Make sure the office staff turn off their computer monitors at night.

        • by bendodge (998616)

          I have a better idea. Instead of ranting over the pros/cons of standby, just make everything that wants to remember something (like the last channel, language selection or something else super-critical) use non-volatile flash instead of RAM. I refuse to believe it's that much more expensive to add a tiny flash chip or a capacitor-powered clock to your device. This would eliminate the need for almost all standby rot and save stress when you have to unplug and move something.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Colonel Korn (1258968)

          If we *really* want to cut energy usage, we need to look at the things people take for granted, not "make sure to unplug your playstation at night".

          I read this article earlier today on ars and knew that it would end up here and evoke the "it's too insignificant to matter" response these discussions always get.

          Yes, for an individual consumer, you won't save a lot of money/energy by shutting down your console. However, this report isn't directed at consumers. It's meant to guide the power-saving decisions that go into designing future consoles. They point out that just adding a "sleep after 6 hour of inactivity" feature turned on by default on all of

      • Re:Yeah, right... (Score:5, Informative)

        by sexconker (1179573) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:25PM (#25821951)

        Click the link, dipshit.

        They go into great detail for each system, including power saving features, off mode, idle mode, and on mode. They even compare the PS3 to a stand alone BluRay player.

        Hell, they even compare the launch revisions of the 360 and the PS3 to the newer revisions.

      • Re:Yeah, right... (Score:5, Informative)

        by vux984 (928602) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:48PM (#25822345)

        The Wii has the power button in the front.
        The Wii Power LED has 3 colors: green - on, yellow - standby, red-off.

        Its quite clear, and not at all deceptive.

        The Wii in standby consumes 1 Watt if the wireless connect24 is off, and 10 watts if it is on.
        The Wii just idling on is 13 watts.

        The xbox 360 also has a standby, and consumes 2.5 watts, vs 150+ Watts if its on and idling. I don't have a 360, and don't know where the power button is, nor how one puts it into standby.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Shikaku (1129753)

      Except that the current generation consoles are always on. The console is listening for the remote on by the controller, and the Wii even goes on WiFi by itself with not on.

      The consoles also generate a lot more heat, especially the 360 and PS3, which if it is summer will cause your house to use more AC (although conversely the heat can warm your house in the winter).

      Power usage IS much higher because of consoles these days.

      • Except that the current generation consoles are always on. The console is listening for the remote on by the controller, and the Wii even goes on WiFi by itself with not on.

        Are you suggesting that when somone select "Turn off System" from the PS3 menu, that the unit doesn't actually turn "off"? I'm able to wake the system from the appropriate button on the controller from this state, but I can't imagine that this would be the 150-watt consuming "Idle" state that was mentioned in the article (it only differentiates betweeen "Active", "Idle", and "Off" states, and the "off" state still draws power). As for the XBOX360's wake-up setting, I can't speak to that as I don't own one

  • Insignificant (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kmac06 (608921) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:02PM (#25821619)
    $1 billion/300 million = $3.

    Yay.
    • please contact me at your earliest convenience so I can give you the address to which you can send me that $3 you're not using.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sexconker (1179573)

      Uh, since when have 300 million PS3s, XBOX 360s, and Wiis been sold? Or do you expect non-console owners to cough up part of your power bill?

      • by Mantrid (250133)

        Lol I believe the people using the power are paying for it.

        • ...

          He implied that the population of the US (300 million) was evenly paying for the projected $1 billion increase in power bills attributed to consoles for next year.

          He then concluded that such a number was insignificant.

          I then pointed out the flaw in his logic - the $1 billion increase will be paid by people owning the consoles. This number is far less than the number of people in the US, and is far less than the number of households/businesses paying utility bills.

          Thus, his insignificant number would act

    • by kellyb9 (954229)
      $1 billion/(1person * 300Million X-Box's)=$3 ... sorry I'll shut them off when I get home :-(
    • Um, its actually a bit more than that. First of all, not every individual lives in their own household. If we assume that the average household has 3 occupants, there are now 100 million households, or $9 per household. Next, the summary states that only 40% of households have at least one console. So that means that roughly 40 million homes have a console. Take $1 billion / 40 million it comes out to be $25 per household. Not a ton of money, but I'd still rather have the $25 than nothing. Not to men
  • by mcgrew (92797) * on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:03PM (#25821629) Homepage Journal

    That console might use what, 100 watts of electricity? Your microwave cooking for twenty minutes is equal to running that console for over two hours.

    Your toaster is 1000 watts. The five minutes it takes to make toast uses the same electricity as the console running almost an hour.

    Let's not even talk about your furnace blower, refrigerator, clothes dryer, dishwasher, let alone a space heater.

    Meanwhile, consoles plug into the TV. My TV uses 250 watts of juice. YMMV depending more on your brand of TV the console is plugged into than the actual console.

    Want to save energy? Turn your PC system off at night unless you've got a giant download, are running a server, or some other valid reason to have it on.

    Replace those 100 watt incandescant bulbs with 25 watt CFL twirley bulbs. I don't have any more incandescants; If I leave every light in the house on it still doesn't equal my TV set, let alone dishwasher.

    Your console's energy use is not the problem.

    • I'm pretty sure that the console uses more than 100 watts, especially if you take into consideration the screen you are using. Either way, 100 watts is very low, it has to be higher than that.

      if I read the article, I could probably tell you that how much, but I didn't.

    • It is true that consoles are a fairly minimal user of energy. For that reason, replacing them, or spending any significant amount retrofitting them, makes very little sense. However, there are enough consoles out there that identifying and correcting the "low hanging fruit" is sensible. Sure, 100 watts isn't all that much; but if all it takes is a trivial settings change, or minor software update, to allow that 100 watt console to go into 4 watt standby when it isn't in use the advantage is obvious.

      By con
      • by TigerNut (718742)
        The major point is that even the 4 watts is significant, because it's drawn continuously. If the console used 100 watts when it was on (ignoring for the moment whether or not that is the right number) and you use the console for one hour per day then you're using 100 watt-hours to run the console when it's active. Then, the other 23 hours per day, it's pulling 4 watts, using a further 92 watt-hours. So your total energy used per day is 192 watt-hours, and only about half of that is valuable in any sense at
      • Forget standby mode AND heaters. My electronics are not only used for entertainment, but for heat as well. When calculating the energy usage, do they take into account the fact that people like me never have to turn the heat on because my TV+Receiver+PS3 put out enough heat to heat my apartment in the winter?

      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        most people don't leave their toaster running when they aren't using it

        They shouldn't leave their console or PC on when it's not doing anything either. My roommate Charlie annoys me no end, she insists on going to sleep with the TV on. Of course, she's not the one paying the electric bill.

        Yet she religiously shuts lights off, despite the fact that I have CFLs and running every light in the house uses less electricity than the big Trinitron in the living room (where Charlie sleeps)

    • by qoncept (599709)
      While I agree that going after consoles is pretty trivial (probably mostly due to the fact that I could care less about the environment), your argument isnt very sound and, if green is your thing, why not?

      While the article likely drew many of the same exagerated/stretched conslusions, yours could use some adjusting and should probably include asterisks even then. A microwave cooking for 20 minutes? Sure, it's plausible, but a TV dinner takes 1 minute, and even if you're a complete slob, you're going to b
      • by Hatta (162192)

        While I agree that going after consoles is pretty trivial (probably mostly due to the fact that I could care less about the environment)

        How much less could you care?

        • by qoncept (599709)
          How much less could you care?

          Little. Good catch there, though. Seriously, way to add something thoughtful. You should set up a debate with Sarah Palin.
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        According to the directions on the box, a box of macaroni can take twenty minutes. I just nuked a box last week.

        A single potato baked in the microwave takes 3-4 minutes, and if you're cooking 3 or 4 it takes almost twice as long for each potato.

        I'll sometimes have chicken cooking in a pan, and cook the vegetables in the microwave. Two minutes to heat the already cooked potatos, three minutes for a can of corn and another three for a can of green beans, you've got eight minutes right there.

    • Your microwave cooking for twenty minutes is equal to running that console for over two hours.

      I am willing to bet that a lot more people play their console for > 2 hours then microwave for 20 min.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by MHz-Man (1066086)

      Want to save energy? Turn your PC system off at night unless you've got a giant download, are running a server, or some other valid reason to have it on.

      I have to disagree with this advice. Yes, turning your PC off when you're done using it will save you power but in my experience with PCs (15+ years now) it causes more trouble than it's worth. Almost every major hardware failure I've had with PCs (both my own and as working in tech support in college) over the years has occurred within a few minutes/hours of turning it on, including one earlier this year when I turned my computer back on after a weekend away from the house and the motherboard simply died

    • PS3 is a space heater at 150W+, and a 42" LCD only draws about 70W, but, yeah, turning it off is the answer, just like anything else.
    • by eth1 (94901)

      Meanwhile, consoles plug into the TV. My TV uses 250 watts of juice. YMMV depending more on your brand of TV the console is plugged into than the actual console.

      No kidding. The console is a drop in the bucket compared to the rest of what it's plugged into. If my console used 200W, it would cost me about $0.028 to run for an hour. The A/V would cost $0.307/hr at full bore (or maybe $0.15/hr if I didn't want the neighbours calling the police).

    • by DuBois (105200)

      Considering that CO2 is the best plant food around, and that we're eating better and living better because there is more CO2 in the air, I say, "If you can afford it, turn on every console you have and leave them on as long as possible."

      CO2 as pollution is so TwenCen. Get real. If the sun continues its current dormancy, we might have a little ice age coming up. And then we'll wish we had burned enough petroleum to have prevented the much more than 0.7 degrees Celsius cooling that will occur.

  • by TiberSeptm (889423) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:05PM (#25821649)
    So does this mean those ps3's sitting around at full CPU utilization for days and days add up to give Folding@Home one of the largest carbon footprints of any non-profit? Of course I'm not being serious with my title, but how's that compare to the energy costs, efficiency, and carbon foot print of an equivalent blue-gene/L supercomputer?
  • by Toe, The (545098) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:09PM (#25821685)
    How much of San Diego's electricity usage is from game consoles?
  • by Fox_1 (128616) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:13PM (#25821763)
    In looking at the power consumption figures on Page 10-12 it's amazing the difference between Nintendo and the other Console Makers.

    MS Xbox off 3.1 W Idle 117.5 W Active 118.8 W
    SonyPS3 off 1.1 W Idle 152.9 W Active 150.1 W
    N's Wii off 1.9 W Idle 10.5 W Active 16.4 W

    That's just some of the numbers and no typo's Nintendo is an order of magnitude more efficient when running. Amazing. The more and more I learn about the Wii and Nintendo's current business the more impressed I am.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by pwnies (1034518) *
      What confuses me is why the PS3 uses more power while idle than active.

      Only one solution to this. Gotta have it doing protein folding 24/7. It's to save the environment.

      • What confuses me is why the PS3 uses more power while idle than active. Only one solution to this. Gotta have it doing protein folding 24/7. It's to save the environment.

        I took a quick skim through the PDF and saw that too. It's also interesting that they put running Folding@home (one of the hardest things you can push your PS3 to do) in with the "power saving/management" section. I'll need to take a more thorough look later.
    • by sexconker (1179573) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:29PM (#25822031)

      You do know that the Wii is a die-shrunk GameCube with more RAM, Wifi, bluetooth, and a SD card slot, right?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Sabz5150 (1230938)

        You do know that the Wii is a die-shrunk GameCube with more RAM, Wifi, bluetooth, and a SD card slot, right?

        Price of tea in China... what's that got to do with it?

        • ...

          The Wii's power draw should be compared to that of the GameCube. We should see a lower power draw than the GameCube since the components have undergone a die shrink. The added features (most notably, wifi) then bring the power consumption up over the GameCube's.

          The 360 and PS3 are new architectures, featuring much more powerful CPUs and GPUs than the Wii. Comparing them to the Wii is inappropriate.

          • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

            by Sabz5150 (1230938)

            ...

            The Wii's power draw should be compared to that of the GameCube. We should see a lower power draw than the GameCube since the components have undergone a die shrink. The added features (most notably, wifi) then bring the power consumption up over the GameCube's.

            The 360 and PS3 are new architectures, featuring much more powerful CPUs and GPUs than the Wii. Comparing them to the Wii is inappropriate.

            Why? This isn't a comparison of processing power and features, it's a comparison of power consumption of current-gen consoles. If you want to debate processing power and reasons why the other two suck more juice than the Wii, there are other forums for that.

            • Why? Because I was pointing out to Fox_1 (who has a low 6 digit UID and should know better) that there is no reason to consider it amazing or impressive, given what we know about the systems.

              Hey, did you know the NES uses a lot less power than a PS3?

              Did you know that elephants are like, way heavier than wombats?

              • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

                by Sabz5150 (1230938)

                Why? Because I was pointing out to Fox_1 (who has a low 6 digit UID and should know better) that there is no reason to consider it amazing or impressive, given what we know about the systems.

                Hey, did you know the NES uses a lot less power than a PS3?

                Did you know that elephants are like, way heavier than wombats?

                Sure. Did you know the NES is a bit over twenty years older? Did you know that elephants and wombats don't share an order?

                Did you know the Wii, PS3 and 360 are competitors?

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by Fox_1 (128616)
                I appreciate that the Wii does't have nearly the processing power of the Xbox 360 or PS3, and the report also seems to respect their differences by comparing the Xbox 360 and PS3 extensively without including the Wii.

                Now back to the business: Here we have an lower spec machine that competes and wins over the other two machines in terms of total sales. That's impressive. What's really amazing is while the competitors have increased Power Consumption in tandem with Processor Specs, Nintendo has managed to rem
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by LackThereof (916566)

            You do know that the Wii is a die-shrunk GameCube

            We should see a lower power draw than the GameCube since the components have undergone a die shrink

            But it's not JUST die-shrunk. It's also clocked significantly faster, which should bring power consumption back up.

            CPU
            Gamecube: 485 MHZ, 180nm
            Wii: 730 MHZ, 90nm

            GPU:
            Gamecube: 160MHZ, 180nm
            Wii: 240 MHZ, 90nm

            Die shrink or no, that's ~50% faster. As you mention, the bluetooth and 802.11 radios are also non-trival power draws that have been added.

            It's worth mentioning that 16.4w for a 700 Mhz G3 with a reasonably fully featured graphics chip is not too shabby, even if the graphics are limited to 480p.

            I'll pl

      • ... and an innovative new control scheme. For some reason you left that out, even though it is the consoles strongest selling point. It's just as easy to state that the 360 is just an XBOX with an upgraded processor, RAM, and video output, is it not?
    • by sam0737 (648914)

      just want to point out that Wii cooling fan, slightly larger than 1" dia, is also a magnitude smaller than 360 and PS3.

    • My new Eee Box [mangocats.com] tops out at 17W power consumption, and it can play games just as advanced as the Wii can...
    • by cecom (698048)

      You do know what "efficiency" means, right? Right?? :-)

      These "measurements" would only make sense when playing the same latest generation game on the three consoles, looking the same on the three consoles. Or when playing the same BlueRay disk on the three consoles... What do you mean the Wii can't play HD BlueRay?

      Or, lets put it another way: an Apple II also plays games and consumes a lot less power than a Wii. Is it more efficient?

      Or perhaps we could divide the complexity of a game and its visual quali

  • I guess I should stop my run of Angelo Search [gamefaqs.com] since Final Fantasy VIII came out.
  • Evil power switch (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Luyseyal (3154) <swaters@luy.inLISPfo minus language> on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:20PM (#25821883) Homepage

    Yeah, all my electronics are guiltless vampires. I'm mean and put them on the "power off" light switch so they're all OFF when I want them OFF. Sure, it takes awhile for the Uverse box to sync back up on power-on, but the savings is worth it to me.

    -l

    • This "vampire" device thing is way overblown. The energy used is minuscule compared to other things in the home. Most people don't put in the same level of effort to make sure their air conditioner, dishwasher, dryer, water heater, etc. are operating efficiently. If they would, they'd save much more energy than what it takes to light a couple LEDs.

      • by Luyseyal (3154)

        Well, the Uverse box, in particular, is a horrible device. It gets REALLY hot and craps out easily, especially if it's been left on all day/night (recording). The two replacements have had the same problems.

        As far as "overblown", conservation only makes sense en masse. The City of Austin estimates it has saved an entire power plant's worth of KW over the last couple of decades through its conservation programs. Consequently, I see myself acting in the "think globally, act locally" sense, not because saving

  • What activities did the video game console replace in the home and what were their energy requirements?
  • How much additional power do Wii users consume in the process of charging their Wiimotes? The other systems all have usable wired controllers that don't need to be charged - but most Wii owners have at least two battery-powered Wiimotes that need recharging from time to time.
  • I don't leave my PS3 on when I'm not using it because the fans are too loud. That said I have two power strips under my TV cabinet.

    One is always on and is buried in the back it contains:
    Cable Modem
    DVR

    One has the button facing out and contains:
    TV
    PS3
    PS2

    When I'm not watching TV (and pretty much every night), I turn off the optional strip and leave on the always on one. Very simple and efficient way to use power. IKEA has two power strips in a bag for something like $7 right now. It's an easy step to take.

  • by llZENll (545605) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:48PM (#25822351)

    FTA "Many users do not turn their video game console off. A game console that is left on 24/7 will use approximately 10 times more annual energy than one that is turned off after use. Due to the absence of any studies, we based our calculations on the assumption that 50 percent of users leave their device on when they are finished playing a game or watching a movie."

    Here are my study results, consoles create 100MW of power. (1)

    (1) Many users mod their console to include solar panels and wind turbines. A modded game console will generate approximately 10KW of annual energy. Due to the absence of any studies, we based our calculations on the assumption that 50 percent of users have modded consoles that generate excess power.

  • by Scorchio (177053) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:52PM (#25822427)

    Moving from the UK to the US, one of the things I miss is having an on/off switch on every electrical socket. It's much easier to flip a switch than have to pull/push plugs. I can also be sure a device is truly off, and not slowly leaching power like the umpteen power adapters I have.

    I'd love to start replacing the outlets I have with switched varieties, but I haven't found anything yet. Either my google-fu is weak, or I'm searching for the wrong thing. Anyone know where I can find such a thing?

    • by danzona (779560)
      Search on "outlet switch" to find a plug with an on/off switch that plugs into the wall outlet.

      I was watching "Living With Ed" and he showed a system called Green Switch which retrofits US homes with the technology you are used to in Europe. They modify some of the existing outlets so that they can be activated / deactivated wirelessly by a controller that is mounted in the wall and looks like a regular light switch.

      Plug the Tivo into the always on outlet and plug everything else into the switchable
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by wc_paladin (989918)

      I thought I saw some at home depot the other day but I can't seem to find it on their website. They always seem to have more in the store than they list online, so actually going out and checking would be a good idea.

      If you can't find anything, you could just get GFCI outlets and use the "test" button to shut them off.

    • by bendodge (998616)

      Power squids are nice for wall-warts and include a switch.

    • Um, why not just use a power strip? Many have on/off switches that control everything plugged into it.

      Or consider a [url=http://www.smarthomeusa.com/Shop/Smart-Energy/Smart-Strip/]Smart Strip[/url] that'll turn off every other socket on the strip when one master device (e.g. your computer) is shut off.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      > Anyone know where I can find such a thing?

      in the UK

  • It's hard to get the Red Ring of Death without really heating up that sucker first.
  • If you turn off all your extra devices by removing power from the transformer brick, you'll save a lot more energy than just turning off the devices, with the power-bricks still sucking juice to make DC....

    Devices such as monitors (LCD's included), stereo equipment, dvd players, printers, are all powered-off pre-brick at my place, and I can see a noticeable drop in energy usage by using that method.

    Of course, that means I had an initial investment in power management switches for each area, but most of them

  • bogus math (Score:3, Interesting)

    by vlm (69642) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @05:19PM (#25823685)

    The math seems bogus

    16e9 KWh * 1000 Wh/KWh / 100e6 households in US * 40% that have consoles / 100 watts per console draw gives me an average use of 640 hours per household per year.

    That means absolutely every console in America gets about two hours of use each and every day. Or rephrased playing console games approaches a part time job. Seems unlikely high to me.

    Another way to look at it, is if I'm too busy to play on the weekdays, all I have to do is play 14 hours straight on Saturday to meet my "quota". Fourteen hours. Every Saturday. All forty million households. Yeah, sure, like that is ever going to happen.

    Also since my wii draws about a tenth the power of a x360 I guess I need to play ten times as much to compensate for the quota, or a mere twenty hours per day, each and every day, in each and every house that owns a wii.

    One anecdotal example of more than that usage level, does not prove the usage level of all 40 million consoles.

  • Low power standby (Score:3, Informative)

    by takev (214836) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @05:55PM (#25824357)

    There are so many electronics in the house that are using more than a watt of power in standby that it can add up to a 100 euro per year for a single house hold. Not that much, but you could have used that 100 Euro for something fun.

    And to be honest this whole 1 or 2 watts isn't needed for standby. My projector, a panasonic PT-EA1000, is one of the few pieces of equipment that only uses 80mW of power in standby. Other manufactures should think of doing this to their equipment.

    For the persons who like to know:
    - You power your standby electronics straight from mains power, through a resistor and a voltage regulator. This works because the standby electronics is very low power.
    - The standby electronics controls a relay that switches the power supply for the rest of the equipment.

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