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NRDC Rates Energy Efficiency of Video Game Consoles

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the real-costs-for-illusory-worlds dept.

Power 260

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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260 comments

First Solution (2, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821593)

Destroy San Diego

Re:First Solution (4, Funny)

ShieldW0lf (601553) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821691)

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 (3, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

We were talking about power usage... (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#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'm on." If it's off, I really don't care if it's in "standby" mode or if the fucking power to the house has been cut, they should look the same to me.

Then, once we get that fixed, we can move on to bigger issues like the enormous power waste of CLOSED businesses that have their fucking gigantic neon signs and parking lot lights turned on at 3 in the goddamn morning, or cities that put a streetlight every 25 feet and have freeways where (a) it looks like a goddamn airport runway and (b) you can drive in the middle of the night and forget you didn't turn your headlights on because it's fucking daylight-level lit with all the goddamn streetlights.

I swear, we waste more energy than anyone thinks about and it'd be so easy to fix so much of it.

Re:We were talking about power usage... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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:We were talking about power usage... (0)

Moryath (553296) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822447)

Perhaps you should do some more research? [techgage.com]

Re:We were talking about power usage... (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:We were talking about power usage... (2, Informative)

stonefoz (901011) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:We were talking about power usage... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25822919)

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.

There are reasons, you idiot. If the game needs the time, having a clock is useful. (See Animal Crossing, Christmas NiGHTS, Seaman.)

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

There is little use to have a light showing that the TV is on, the display is enough for me. But a small light showing me exactly where the power switch is when it's turned off, can be useful.

Yeah, right... (3, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821615)

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.

Re:Yeah, right... (1)

Rayeth (1335201) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821675)

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.

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

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#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".

Re:Yeah, right... (-1, Offtopic)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822027)

Oh dear god my spelling and grammar suck in that last post.

Do excuse me!

"Can't be bother to turn your devices of standby but want to make the same cut in energy use?"

Worst sentence EVAR.

"Can't be bothered to turn your devices fully off but want the same cut in energy use?"

Re:Yeah, right... (0, Offtopic)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822389)

Oh dear god my spelling and grammar suck in that last post.

Look, if everybody went around and reviewed their posts for grammar, spelling and content where would half the subsequent posts be? On topic, that's what.

We wouldn't want that, would we now?

Nor would we ever want the ability to 'edit' posts. Not us.

Re:Yeah, right... (1)

geobeck (924637) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822537)

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.

Re:Yeah, right... (4, Informative)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#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... (0)

X0563511 (793323) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822109)

... and no, "you must be new here" isn't a valid answer to "RTFM/RTFS". Click the fucking links and use your brains!

Re:Yeah, right... (4, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Yeah, right... (2, Insightful)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821779)

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.

Re:Yeah, right... (1)

Silentknyght (1042778) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822933)

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. FWIW, I'd consider "off" to be "consuming a couple watts or less, just from being plugged in."

Insignificant (4, Insightful)

kmac06 (608921) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821619)

$1 billion/300 million = $3.

Yay.

Re:Insignificant (1)

sweatyboatman (457800) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821757)

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:Insignificant (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822927)

Actually, he is happy to use the $3 to keep his console on standby.

He probably doesn't care that the actual figure is probably closer to $50, either.

Re:Insignificant (2, Interesting)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821973)

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?

Re:Insignificant (1)

Mantrid (250133) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822105)

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

Re:Insignificant (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822349)

...

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 actually be significant to a lot of people, if you estimated it with even a shred of thought.

Re:Insignificant (1)

kellyb9 (954229) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822449)

$1 billion/(1person * 300Million X-Box's)=$3 ... sorry I'll shut them off when I get home :-(

Re:Insignificant (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822577)

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 mention all the hidden fees caused by global warming and using up scarce resources....

All you mouth-breathing button mashers... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25821621)

...are really fucking things up for us.

Penny wise, pound foolish (5, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821629)

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.

Re:Penny wise, pound foolish (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821655)

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.

Re:Penny wise, pound foolish (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821791)

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 contrast, things like space heaters, toasters, and the like use a lot of energy; but are fairly poor targets. They last quite a while, so natural turnover is low, and their (high) energy use is mostly about kicking out heat, something that is very easy to do efficiently(plus, most people don't leave their toaster running when they aren't using it).

You are correct in reminding us that we need to think quantitatively about how much a given measure is worth. However, measures that don't save much are still worthwhile if they cost even less.

Re:Penny wise, pound foolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25822013)

things like space heaters, toasters, and the like use a lot of energy; but are fairly poor targets. They last quite a while, so natural turnover is low

Unless you're "good American consumers" like my wife and I that have discovered that it's easier and cheaper (when considering the time = money equation) to simply toss out our toaster oven every year or two and buy a new one at Walmart rather than bother cleaning it.

Re:Penny wise, pound foolish (1)

TigerNut (718742) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822931)

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 all.

Re:Penny wise, pound foolish (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822207)

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 be making, tops, 4 a day. In the meantime, the complete slob is playing 5 hours of Halo 2. Then he's leaving it running to download a demo or two.

The point of power saving isn't to find the largest users of electricity and eliminate them. It's to 1) eliminate the things that aren't reasonable (like lights in rooms you're not in) and 2) reduce the consumption of everything you are using. Improving a console's power usage by 10% won't result in anything just like replacing a single light bulb wont, but if you get replace all your incandescents with compact florescents, hit the refrigerator, tv, monitors, computers, security systems and everything else, you've done something.

And sure, the probably optimistic 7 million tons of CO2 the article says can be saved is equal to maybe half a million cars (or well under a quarter percent of the US), but console makers can work to improve consoles' power usage -- they can't do anything about the cars. That's on someone else.

Re:Penny wise, pound foolish (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822407)

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?

Re:Penny wise, pound foolish (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25822521)

Less than Jim Inhofe

Re:Penny wise, pound foolish (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822613)

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.

Re:Penny wise, pound foolish (1)

LandDolphin (1202876) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822493)

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:Penny wise, pound foolish (2, Interesting)

MHz-Man (1066086) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822499)

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 within a few minutes. Also in my experience, for some reason it seems laptops are less prone to this same phenomenon

I now leave my main PC on all the time. I pay a bit extra in power bills but I also no longer need to order a new part to replace a bad one every few months/years either. This to me is worth the extra $10/month on my power bill.

Re:Penny wise, pound foolish (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822517)

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.

Re:Penny wise, pound foolish (1)

eth1 (94901) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822669)

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).

Folding@Home- murdering the planet? (5, Insightful)

TiberSeptm (889423) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

Re:Folding@Home- murdering the planet? (1)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821797)

If you run this during the winter, the heat generated from the computer/console can heat your home. It isn't a very efficient heater, but it is doing something useful.

Re:Folding@Home- murdering the planet? (2, Informative)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822993)

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

Re:Folding@Home- murdering the planet? (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822009)

It's been long known that distributed computing is a horrible, horrible waste of electricity.

Maybe, maybe not (4, Interesting)

Wesley Felter (138342) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822401)

The study shows that many people leave their PS3s on all the time, and the power difference between running F@H and idle is small, so it's really the PS3 that's killing the planet. If you're going to waste power anyway, you might as well do some folding.

However, there is no reason a console should use 100W when idle. A laptop can drop its power consumption by a factor of 10 when it's idle; why can't a game console?

Re:Maybe, maybe not (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822561)

Hey man, that swirly thing behind the XMB is majorly important to our cultural heritage... well worth the boxcar of coal it consumes every month.

Re:Folding@Home- murdering the planet? (3, Funny)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822417)

This is why I run ClimateChange@Home 24/7 to help climatologists solve the problem of climate change!

Re:Folding@Home- murdering the planet? (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822543)

Yep, I was just thinking that, although Folding@TheServerFarm would probably emit a similar amount of carbon per calculation performed.

Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (5, Informative)

Fox_1 (128616) | more than 5 years ago | (#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:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (2, Insightful)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821935)

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.

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (1)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821993)

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.

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25821957)

And not surprisingly, a 1Ghz Pentium uses considerably less power than a Phenom. Yes, it's good that the Wii uses considerably less power than either the 360 or PS3. But at the same time, the Wii has considerably less processing power than either of those.

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (3, Insightful)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822031)

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

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (2, Insightful)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822249)

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?

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822409)

...

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:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (2, Interesting)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822657)

...

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.

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (1)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822759)

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:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (2, Insightful)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822799)

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:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (0, Flamebait)

sexconker (1179573) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822911)

Man, you're a retard.

The point is that the Wii is a fucking 8 year-old GameCube with extras!

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (1)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823029)

Man, you're a retard.

The point is that the Wii is a fucking 8 year-old GameCube with extras!

Awww, are we getting fussy?

You're screaming about the Wii being a revved up Gamecube in a discussion over the power consumption of what the article (if you would read it) calls "the big three video game consoles", and you're calling ME the retard? Who gives a shit what the Wii is, the point of the article is its power consumption, nothing more.

RT-FUCKING-A.

Wombats are Amazing (impressive at least) (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25822855)

Wombats are an order of magnitude more efficient. Amazing. The more and more I learn about the wombat the more impressed I am.

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (1)

LordNimon (85072) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822467)

His point is that the Wii isn't even in the same class as an Xbox 360 or PS3. The Xbox may use ten times as much electricity, but it's also ten times as powerful. I'd even go so far as to say it's ten times as much fun.

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (2, Insightful)

Sabz5150 (1230938) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822679)

His point is that the Wii isn't even in the same class as an Xbox 360 or PS3. The Xbox may use ten times as much electricity, but it's also ten times as powerful. I'd even go so far as to say it's ten times as much fun.

Is this a debate of console power and available titles, or is this a debate over power consumption?

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (1)

sam0737 (648914) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822099)

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

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (1, Insightful)

TheGeniusIsOut (1282110) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822181)

The Wii is not more efficient, it simply does not do as much. If it was as capable of graphics and processing as the PS3 or XB360, it would consume a lot more power.

That's like trying to compare a single LED flashlight running on a couple of button cell batteries to a dive light using lantern batteries.

The LED may only draw 20mA at 3V, or 60mW, while the dive light uses 0.5A at 12V, or 6W, 2 orders of magnitude greater, but the LED only puts out 2-3cp, while the dive light does 2-3Kcp, which actually makes the dive light more efficient by an order of magnitude.

3cp / 60mw = 50cp/W

3Kcp / 6W = 500cp/W

I did, however, find it somewhat amusing that the Wii uses less power than the Gamecube.

What I take issue with, after reading the entire report, is that they give no citation as to where they derived the power cost and CO2 emission numbers from. Obviously, different power production techniques would amount to different emissions and costs, e.g. solar or wind power in a personal or community installation would have a higher initial cost, with virtually no monthly cost and very little CO2 emissions, and those arising mainly from the production of the hardware.

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (5, Insightful)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822665)

The Wii is not more efficient, it simply does not do as much.

Well sure it does. It plays video games.

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (2, Insightful)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823037)

It makes more sense to measure things in fun/Watt than it does to measure them in Masturbatory-graphics-number/Watt. That is, measure what they do, not what they are capable of.

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (1)

JaWiB (963739) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822289)

Yes, but I also use my Xbox to heat my home during winter. Try that with a Wii.

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (1)

DavidTC (10147) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822303)

While we're at it, I bet TiVos use a lot more energy than game consoles. They're on 24/7, and use the hard drive a lot more.

Also, neither XBox or PS3 actually appear to have an idle setting. That might be a useful thing to add.

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25822477)

Yeah, that's because the Wii's hardware is significantly older and less powerful. Unless you like playing crappy looking kiddie games, like my 10 year old, then it's not an option.

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (1)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822599)

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

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25822979)

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

I think it's even more amazing that the PS3 uses less juice when Active than when Idle.

Re:Nintendo is Amazing (impressive at least) (1)

cecom (698048) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823069)

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 quality by the power consumption. Interesting ... the $5 watch with built-in Tetris comes out as the bestest most efficientest.

(In reality I don't own any console nor I plan to ... ever)

Big story overlooked. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25821873)

In figure 3 they state they've tested with Resistance: Fall of Man 4.

4?!?!?!?! two was just released and they got into the Super ultra pre-alpha for 4.

Can someone get me into that sweetness?

Evil power switch (2, Insightful)

Luyseyal (3154) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821883)

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

Re:Evil power switch (1)

Fred Ferrigno (122319) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823033)

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.

addition and subtraction (1)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821913)

What activities did the video game console replace in the home and what were their energy requirements?

Re:addition and subtraction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25822081)

I suppose pausing to hit your little brother doesn't help... after all, the xbox is still on....

Question on the Wii (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#25821955)

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.

Easy Steps (1)

tthomas48 (180798) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822125)

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.

Winter time heating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25822171)

If you have electric heating, then any extra electricity you use will reduce the amount you use for heating. Basically, the waste heat is used to heat your house. So, the game consoles are free to use when cold outside. PS3 space heater anyone?

I Can Make Up a "Fact Sheet" Too (2, Insightful)

llZENll (545605) | more than 5 years ago | (#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.

Re:I Can Make Up a "Fact Sheet" Too (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25822851)

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."

Given the relative frequency of hardware failures that the current and last generation of consoles had, who the hell leaves their consoles on 24/7?

Electrical socket on/off switches (4, Interesting)

Scorchio (177053) | more than 5 years ago | (#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?

Re:Electrical socket on/off switches (1)

danzona (779560) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822811)

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 outlet. Then when you leave the house you turn off the power to the unnecessary appliances.

Re:Electrical socket on/off switches (2, Insightful)

wc_paladin (989918) | more than 5 years ago | (#25822867)

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.

From TFA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#25822585)

"1 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."

Your study = fail

Turn devices off by removing power from the bricks (1)

GuyverDH (232921) | more than 5 years ago | (#25823013)

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 sit under the monitor, or have remote on-off switches custom made for that purpose.

In some cases, I have outlets tied to an extra *light* switch that turns off all the *extra* outlets at once as long as the usage doesn't go over the rating of the fuse assigned to that circuit...

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