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Power Entertainment Games

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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  • 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.

  • by seeker_1us (1203072) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:13PM (#25821751)

    Xbox 360 console set to raise gamersâ(TM) power bills [xb360info.com]

    That article quotes the Xbox 360 as drawing 160 W. , the Xbox as drawing 74, and the PS2 as drawing 50.

  • 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: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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:45PM (#25822313)
    #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'm curious to know where this 75W myth first started (this isn't the first place I've seen this). The PS3 has always used 1-2W when in standby mode, which is the same as just about any other device with a standby mode.
  • 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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @03:58PM (#25822533)
    Perhaps you should read the article you linked to. They're not talking about putting it into "standby" mode. They're talking about leaving the thing sitting there turned on. When you put it into Standby mode, it uses 1-2W. Try plugging one into a Kill-A-Watt yourself if you don't believe this. I guess there are ignorant dipshits who will believe everything they read on the internet.
  • by stonefoz (901011) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @04:01PM (#25822565)
    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 anything. With switchmode supplys at least they pull less power with the motors off, but only accidentally.
  • by maxume (22995) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @04:31PM (#25822993)

    You mean effective and/or cheap. A computer is pretty much equally efficient as any other electric heater.

  • by metamatic (202216) on Wednesday November 19, 2008 @05:27PM (#25823817) Homepage Journal

    Yup. I have a Kill-A-Watt device, and tested the PS3 to see how much electricity it wastes when switched off (but with the red LED on so it can be powered up from the controller).

    The answer was that it was so little that the Kill-A-Watt still read 0 after 24 hours. So it's an utterly trivial amount in the grand scheme of things, and I'm inclined to believe the 1-2W figure.

    I also once worked out the amount of CO2 emitted by my Mac, assuming I left it asleep (3W) instead of powering it off completely, and assuming that all the electricity came from coal. The answer was that I was emitting more CO2 per year by breathing.

  • 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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