Monday, December 20, 2010

For The Nerds: Video Game Console Energy Consumption

Recently, a tradition has been developing with my family over the holidays.  I come home from the city, my brother comes back from Scotland, and we all get together and enjoy one another's company... for about 5 minutes.

After those blissful 5 minutes pass, my brother and I quickly retreat to the basement where I spend a good chunk of my time on this laptop job searching (hire me!) and he spends the better part of the day playing Call of Duty on Xbox 360.

Words cannot describe how annoyed my dad gets with us never moving from the basement, but what can you do?

This is relevant because today I read an article over on the NY Times Green Blog about power consumption levels and how the Xbox 360 is the most power hungry gaming system out there:
The Wii drew an average of 13.7 watts vs. 84.8 watts for the PlayStation and 87.9 for the Xbox. (The figures do not count the TV screens that the boxes must be connected to.)
It isn't surprising that the Wii is the least power hungry because Nintendo hasn't upgraded their graphics in at least the last 10 years.  It also isn't surprising that Xbox is the least efficient because the graphics are much more advanced than the Wii and the system itself hasn't truly been upgraded since its release in 2005.

Alone, these numbers aren't shattering records for energy consumption in the home, but when you consider the energy it takes to power a large television along with an internet router, along with the fact that there are over 41 million Xbox 360s sold around the world, it quickly becomes clear that these are true energy costs.

Do I think that people should stop playing video games? No.

Do I think people shouldn't play them as much? Probably... but good luck convincing my brother to do that.

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