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Analysis Platform Nintendo Switch is Most Eco-Friendly Console, Study Finds

IbizaPocholo

NeoGAFs Kent Brockman
Dec 1, 2014
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ibiza

It's likely not surprising that consoles vary in the amount of energy they consume. The Xbox One, for example, was notorious for driving up the energy bill if left on all night long. Coupled with the public’s increased desire to find products with a low-carbon footprint that are better for the environment, demand for eco-friendly electronics has increased among consumers. The demand for energy-efficient consoles may have been what inspired NerdWallet to conduct a study to find which consoles will save consumers the most money on their electricity bills.

The data for the study was collected between December 2, 2020 and January 4, 2021. It examined the “lifetime” cost of a gaming console, with “lifetime” referring to the expected time that a person keeps and uses their console before upgrading to the next generation. To calculate the cost of power, the study measured active gaming power usage and standby power usage over a course of six to nine years, the average amount of time that the researchers figured consumers kept their consoles for before upgrading. Of all current-generation consoles, the study found that the Switch was the most energy-efficient, with a lifetime energy cost of about $143.46.

The Switch’s energy cost was much lower than its current-generation competitors, the PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X. The study found that the Xbox Series X had a total lifetime energy cost of $283.20, greater than the PS5’s lifetime energy cost of $234.45. The study also looked at prior generations and found that older Nintendo consoles also used less energy than their competitors. The lifetime energy cost of the Wii U and the Wii, for example, was $40.66 and $117.86 respectively.

Those numbers are much lower than PlayStation consoles, as the PS3 had a lifetime energy cost of $229.45 and the PS4 had a cost of $292.65. Xbox consoles were the least energy-efficient, with the Xbox 360 having a lifetime energy cost of $258.26 and the Xbox One costing $363.64.
The study looked at much more than energy costs, as it also examined the price of each base console, their accessories, games, and services to calculate which consoles had the highest overall lifetime cost. The Switch still came in as the most cost effect current-generation console, with an average lifetime cost of about $1,244.68. The Xbox Series X was the middle-of-the-road console, with a lifetime cost of $2,313.15. The PS5 was the most expensive, costing about $2,429.69 over its lifetime.
 
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Marvel14

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Sep 30, 2020
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Stop the presses...the hardware with the lowest processing power and the smallest form factor uses less energy. MIND.BLOWN.😅

Up next: Study finds Switch is the most portable of the three consoles...
 
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KungFucius

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Jul 16, 2008
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This is hilarious. I wonder if they included the portable screen being less of an energy hog than a 4K TV. But there is no way in fuck my PS5 is going to approach the average cost of 2500 bucks..... Unless my kid starts to like PS5 games.
 
Nov 13, 2016
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They're not wrong, but there's more aspects to being "eco-friendly" than just using less power. For example, every Switch has a built-in screen. That could potentially be wasteful if a customer only ever uses it in docked mode. Joy-con drift requires analog sticks to be replaced somewhat frequently, which the user can't do on their own. There's probably other examples as well.

The most eco way to play games is probably to use your smartphone, since that's a device that people already own/would buy anyway. It's also energy efficient and doesn't require additional accessories and cables.
 
Oct 26, 2018
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News flash.

Honda Civics have better fuel efficiency and lower maintenance costs vs any BMW.
 
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Futaleufu

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Dec 26, 2016
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They're not wrong, but there's more aspects to being "eco-friendly" than just using less power. For example, every Switch has a built-in screen. That could potentially be wasteful if a customer only ever uses it in docked mode. Joy-con drift requires analog sticks to be replaced somewhat frequently, which the user can't do on their own. There's probably other examples as well.

The most eco way to play games is probably to use your smartphone, since that's a device that people already own/would buy anyway. It's also energy efficient and doesn't require additional accessories and cables.

All those batteries can't be good for the planet
 

Zannegan

Member
Feb 20, 2018
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Honestly, I'm surprised the two next gen consoles are so low given their size and power. Nice work MS and Sony engineers.
 

prinz_valium

Member
Oct 15, 2013
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Lol the Study sucks.

Series S and Series X have the same energy costs?
Also 170 quid for an Xbox branded headset?
PS5 DE and regular PS5 use a different headset?
PS5 DE and Xbox Series S use physical game prices instead of digital ones?

 
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Vae_Victis

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Mar 4, 2020
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The study measured cost-per-lifespan and energy consumption. Not how "eco friendly" consoles are. Terrible and inaccurate article title.

Unless you also go dig through the raw materials inside each console and their supply chain, the energy/resource cost of producing the consoles, and how recyclable/refurbishable their components are, don't talk to me about "eco friendliness".

The fact alone that the Switch has a built-in screen and miniaturized audio speakers most likely means that additional rare-earth elements and super magnets like neodimium are being put inside each unit, which if not engineered to be easily recoverable at the recycling plant would make it much worse in terms of sustainability than "it consumes a bit more W".
 
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Marvel14

Member
Sep 30, 2020
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The study measured cost-per-lifespan and energy consumption. Not how "eco friendly" consoles are. Terrible and inaccurate article title.

Unless you also go dig through the raw materials inside each console and their supply chain, the energy/resource cost of producing the consoles, and how recyclable/refurbishable their components are, don't talk to me about "eco friendliness".

The fact alone that the Switch has a built-in screen and miniaturized audio speakers most likely means that additional rare-earth elements and super magnets like neodimium are being put inside each unit, which if not engineered to be easily recoverable at the recycling plant would make it much worse in terms of sustainability than "it consumes a bit more W".
A longwinded way of saying "I'm a total eco-nerd"

Jk🤓
 

Mr Moose

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Sep 10, 2013
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It's not a home console like the others, doesn't it use a tablet battery?
I wonder how much my Vita costs to run :pie_thinking:
 

vaibhavpisal

Member
Jun 10, 2019
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Is it made out of wood?

Thought so. Graphics look like Miyamoto drawing on slate using chalk at 30fps.
 

M1chl

Currently Gif and Meme Champion
Dec 25, 2019
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It has a large battery in it, which has toxic substances, so the recycling or filling the landfill will easily erase this advantage. And since eneloops will last forever the Xbox is obvious choice for eco minded individuals :messenger_bicep:
 

Gogo

Neo Member
Apr 16, 2021
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" Switch is the best selling console"
" Switch is the most eco friendly"
" Switch solves world hunger"

Every positive news article in the world about the Switch
Except compelling game announcements of games to play on the system.

The Switch has more games with and 80+ metacritic this year than all other consoles combined
 
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