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Just how much DOES your PS3, Xbox 360, Wii cost you to run per year?

Ook
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I though this was a great article posted in another forum and I thought I'd share here!

quote:
Originally posted by Lori Bongiorno @ Yahoo:
FIXME: http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b264/stagemaster/1118kids_videogames.jpgVideo game consoles consume a "staggeringly high" amount of energy, according to a report the Natural Resources Defense Council is releasing on Wednesday. How much electricity do they use each year? About as much as it takes to power the city of San Diego.

There's plenty of room for improvement. We can cut our nation's electricity bill by more than $1 billion and avoid 7 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year, according to the report.

How much can you personally save? Depends on what brand you choose. The Sony Playstation 3 and Microsofts Xbox 360 use as much as nine times more energy than the Nintendo Wii.

Habits play a crucial role as well. The systems use nearly the same amount of power when they are turned on and idle as they do when you are actively playing a game or watching a movie. If left on continuously, the Playstation 3 or Xbox 360 will consume the same amount of energy as two new refrigerators over the course of a year.

Here's how the three major brands stack up against each other:

NRDC pay to play graph

FIXME: http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b264/stagemaster/nrdc_price_of_play_350x.jpg

* Sony Playstation 3 is the most power-hungry model. For the 2007 version, you'll spend about $12 a year if you turn the console off when you're not using it, compared to about $134 if you leave it on all the time.
* Microsoft Xbox 360 ranks a close second. If you shut it down when you're not playing a game or watching a movie, it costs about $11 to operate annually. Leaving it on continuously will cost you $103.
* Nintendo Wii uses significantly less energy than the others. It costs about $3 a year if you turn it off after use, compared to about $10 if you don't.

The comprehensive report outlines significant changes industry needs to make. For now, though, here's what consumers can do to make a difference.

* Always turn the system off when you are done playing a game or watching a movie. Don't assume that just because you turn off the TV that your console shuts down too. It doesn't. If you're in the middle of the game, save it so that you can pick up where you left off.
* Enable the automatic power down feature, which will shut down your device if it's left idle for a certain amount of time. This isn't always easy to do and you might need to install software first so click here for step-by-step instructions.
* Limit movie watching on gaming devices. Viewing movies on a stand-alone unit is a lot more efficient. The Playstation 3, for example, uses five times more power than the stand-alone Sony Blu-Ray player to play the same movie.

Update:
Based on all the comments, I think it's a good idea to add a few more things to this post.

The report was written by the Natural Resources Defense Council, a reputable national environmental non-profit. The NRDC is working with these companies to help them improve the efficiencies of their products.

The researchers found that about 50% of the people who use video game consoles leave them on for an extended period of time. Why? Some people innocently forget to turn off the console when they turn off their televisions. Some assume that units power down when they're not being used. Others leave games on that they can't save so that they can pick up where they left off.

I interviewed Noah Horowitz, the NRDC project manager who spearheaded the research, before writing the original post. He said that it wasn't the NRDC's intention to influence which products people buy. He is fully aware that people make purchasing decisions based on the games they are interested in.

Instead, the point of the report is to get gaming console manufacturers to make it easier for consumers to take advantage of power save functions. It's also to get the companies that produce games to make it easier for consumers to save their games continuously.

The NRDC says it wants to educate people about the fact that these game consoles use more energy than one would assume given their small size and that they aren't programmed to automatically go into sleep mode. You have to program it yourself and they give directions on how to do this. The message is not to reduce the amount of time you play a game. Instead, it's a gentle reminder to turn off the game consoles when you're not using them and to enable the power save mode if you haven't already done so.

Finally, the savings can seem tiny to some, but little things do add up. More than 40% of all homes in the United States contain at least one video game console. Last year approximately 17.5 million game consoles were sold. Sales have been growing about 8 percent per month over the last seven years.

(source:http://green.yahoo.com/blog/the_conscious_consumer/21/stop-wasting-money-video-games-and-energy-efficiency.html)
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Telumehtar
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What's interesting is the Wii's numbers. Even left on, all the time, it will use less energy than other consoles which you shut down. Does the Wii have a more efficient "sleep" mode compared to the other consoles?
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Vemika
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quote:
Originally posted by Telumehtar:
Does the Wii have a more efficient "sleep" mode compared to the other consoles?



Actually, it's due in large part to the Wii being little more than an overclocked Gamecube than anything else. Plus having significantly few parts to keep powered, like the painful lack of a hard drive. *shrug*
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Trillara
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Some of the blame needs to be pointed at game developers here. The design of a game can influence how you use the console. Certain game developers, and I think we all know who I'm talking about here, are too fond of having widely separated save points, preventing you from simply shutting down your console any time you like.

I know I've left my consoles turned on for long periods of time because I had to go do something, or go to sleep, and was nowhere near a save point.

As far as the Wii goes, it's hardware is very, very weak compared to others.

Keep in mind also, the 360 has been out for a while. The next generation of consoles will include power management features that were not available when the 360 was released.

It's also worth noting that in 2007 the 360's cpu changed from a 90nm process to a 65nm process. If you compare the power supply from an older xbox to a newer one, you will notice the newer one has a lower power output rating, and a slightly different plug. There is some talk about moving to the newer 45nm process, which will cut power usage further.

None of these, however, included the dynamic clock scaling that, until recently (post 360/PS3 release), existed solely in the domain of laptop processors.

"* Limit movie watching on gaming devices. Viewing movies on a stand-alone unit is a lot more efficient. The Playstation 3, for example, uses five times more power than the stand-alone Sony Blu-Ray player to play the same movie."
There's a significant economic problem here. You can run a PS3 continuously for 1-2 years for the cost of a stand-alone blu-ray player. That isn't much incentive to get a stand-alone just to save a bit of power.

Anyway, that's my CAD$0.02
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Telumehtar
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quote:
 "* Limit movie watching on gaming devices. Viewing movies on a stand-alone unit is a lot more efficient. The Playstation 3, for example, uses five times more power than the stand-alone Sony Blu-Ray player to play the same movie."
There's a significant economic problem here. You can run a PS3 continuously for 1-2 years for the cost of a stand-alone blu-ray player. That isn't much incentive to get a stand-alone just to save a bit of power.



And that there pretty much sums up the "Media for Green" crap that the Major News networks push.

"Hey be green because it's cool, and will help the environment, but be sure you spend money doing it... preferrably on our advertisers products... please..."

In order to do a true energy and economic analysis of whether doing something like playing movies on a game system is green or not, you have to consider:

A) Economically, is the energy spent playing the movie at X times more than a standalone player, worth the savings of buying a standalone player + the energy to run?

B) Does the energy spent over the lifecycle of a game system playing movies, more or less than the energy spent producing a whole second system to just play movies on?

The problem with most energy assessments on devices is the failure to account for the amount of energy and materials used in purchasing a second (albeit more efficient) device.

Ultimately what needs to happen is for Sony or Microsoft, or Nintendo is to allow for integration of additional uses like DVD/BluRay playing, CD/MP3 playing, and other media functions and to do it with energy saving features such as power management. The real trick will be to build a system which can be modularized to some extent so that consumers can purchase those functions they actually want or even better, start with a base system, that allows for easily plugged in add-ons, or even upgrades.
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Erywin
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aka Niwyre
quote:
Originally posted by Telumehtar:
Ultimately what needs to happen is for Sony or Microsoft, or Nintendo is to allow for integration of additional uses like DVD/BluRay playing, CD/MP3 playing, and other media functions and to do it with energy saving features such as power management. The real trick will be to build a system which can be modularized to some extent so that consumers can purchase those functions they actually want or even better, start with a base system, that allows for easily plugged in add-ons, or even upgrades.



So buy a computer? >.<
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Amirite
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I only use my PS2 for watching Sony Entertainment movies that refuse to play on my laptop, since I have a DVD burner.

I have it turned off about 99% of the year. I guess I should just unplug it.
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