Electricity consumption and energy savings potential of video game consoles in the United States
- 424 Downloads
Total energy consumption of video game consoles has grown rapidly in the past few decades due to rapid increases in market penetration, power consumption of the devices, and increasing usage driven by new capabilities. Unfortunately, studies investigating the energy impacts of these devices have been limited and potential responses, such as ENERGY STAR requirements, have been difficult to define and implement. We estimate that the total electricity consumption of video game consoles in the US was around 11 TWh in 2007 and 16 TWh in 2010 (approximately 1 % of US residential electricity consumption), an increase of almost 50 % in 3 years. However, any estimate of total game console energy consumption is highly uncertain, and we have determined that the key uncertainty is the unknown consumer behavior with regards to powering down the system after use. Even under this uncertainty, we demonstrate that the most effective energy-saving modification is incorporation of a default auto power down feature, which could reduce electricity consumption of game consoles by 75 % (10 TWh reduction of electricity in 2010), saving consumers over $1 billion annually in electricity bills. We conclude that using an auto power down feature for game consoles is at least as effective for reducing energy consumption as implementing a strict set of energy efficiency improvements for the devices, is much easier to implement given the nature of the video game console industry, and could be applied retroactively to currently deployed consoles through firmware updates.
KeywordsVideo game consoles Electricity consumption Auto power down ENERGY STAR Efficiency
This work was supported, in part, by the Environmental Protection Agency through the EPA STAR fellowship, the Gordon Moore Foundation, the Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center (CEIC), and the center for Climate and Energy Decision Making (SES-0949710), through a cooperative agreement between the National Science Foundation and Carnegie Mellon University. We would like to thank Marla Sanchez, H. Scott Matthews, Mike Blackhurst, and Jay Apt for helpful discussions and Katharine Kaplan and Paul Karaffa at EPA ENERGY STAR for their feedback on this work. No funding agencies had any role in the collection, analysis or interpretation of data, in the writing of the report, or in the decision to submit the paper for publication.
- Ashcraft, B. (2010). Why are consoles banned in China?. Retreived 2012 February from Kotaku: http://kotaku.com/5587577/why-are-consoles-banned-in-china.
- Boxer, S. (2011 June). Nintendo’s new Wii U aims to be a game-changer. Retrieved 2011 July from guardinan.co.uk: http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jun/07/nintendo-wii-games-console-technology.
- Bronk, C., Lingamneni, A. & Palem, K. (2010). Innovation for sustainability in information and communication technologies (ICT). Retrieved 2012 February from James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy: http://bakerinstitute.org/publications/ITP-pub-SustainabilityInICT-102510.pdf.
- CEPE & Fraunhofer. (2003). Energy consumption of information and communication technology (ICT) in Germany up to 2010, summary to the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Labour. Retreived from Fraunhofer Institute for Systems and Innovation Research: http://isi.fraunhofer.de/isi-media/docs/isi-publ/2003/isi03b67/energy-consumption-summary.pdf?WSESSIONID=03e581a8101ce64a23ddd8a1fdffb416.
- Electric Power Research Institute. (2010 16-December). Power play: EPRI analysis reveals that video game consoles differ in energy consumption. Retrieved 2011 6-January from Electric Power Research Institute: http://my.epri.com/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_317_205_776_43/http;/uspalecp604;7087/publishedcontent/publish/power_play__epri_analysis_reveals_that_video_game_consoles_differ_in_energy_consumption_da_753432.html.
- Electroschematics. (2009). Sony PS2 service manual. Retrieved 2011 from Electroschematics: http://electroschematics.com/1172/sony-ps2-service-manual/.
- ENERGY STAR. (2009 July). Final draft game console requirements. Retrieved 2011 May from Energy Star: http://www.energystar.gov/ia/partners/prod_development/revisions/downloads/game_console/Computer_Spec_Version%205_1_Game_Consoles.pdf.
- ENERGY STAR. (2009 July). Final draft game console requirements. Retrieved 2011 May from Energy Star: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=revisions.game_console_spec.
- ENERGY STAR. (2011 August). Game console performance requirements. Retrieved 2011 September from ENERGY STAR: http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=revisions.game_console_spec.
- Energy Information Administration. (2005 July). US household electricity report. Retrieved 2011 May from EIA: http://www.eia.gov/emeu/reps/enduse/er01_us.html.
- Energy Information Administration. (2010). 2009 residential energy consumption survey (Table HC5.7). Retrieved 2011 July from Energy Information Administration: http://www.eia.gov/consumption/residential/data/2009/.
- Energy Information Administration. (2010 27-December). Average retail price of electricity to ultimate customers by end-use sector. Retrieved 2011 7-January from US Energy Information Administration: http://www.eia.doe.gov/electricity/epm/table5_6_a.html.
- Energy Information Administration. (2011). Residential energy consumption survey. Retrieved July 2011 from EIA: http://www.eia.doe.gov/consumption/residential/reports/electronics.cfm.
- Entertainment Software Association. (2007). Essential facts about the computer and video game industry. Retrieved 2012 from Entertainment Software Association: http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2007.pdf.
- Entertainment Software Association. (2009). Essential facts about the computer and video game industry. Retrieved 2011 from Entertainment Software Association: http://www.theesa.com/facts/pdfs/ESA_EF_2009.pdf.
- Eurostat. (2007). Cultural statistics. Retrieved 2012 February from Eurostat: http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_OFFPUB/KS-77-07-296/EN/KS-77-07-296-EN.PDF.
- Furtado, M. (2011 June). Sony to sell PlayStation Vita for a loss, profitable in 3 yrs. Retrieved 2011 July from Examiner.com: http://www.examiner.com/video-game-in-national/sony-to-sell-playstation-vita-for-a-loss-profitable-3yrs.
- Golove, W. H., & Eto, J. H. (1996). Market barriers to energy efficiency: a critical reappraisal of the rationale for public policies to promote energy efficiency. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.Google Scholar
- Hollister, S. (2010 July). New Xbox 360 250 GB review. Retrieved 2011 May from Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2010/07/02/new-xbox-360-slim-250gb-review/.
- Kaplan, K. (2011 September). EPA Team Lead, ENERGY STAR product development. (E. Hittinger, Interviewer).Google Scholar
- Klepek, P. (2006 October). Microsoft adds 1080p support with Xbox update. Retrieved 2011 September from PC Magazine: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2047311,00.asp.
- Klug, B. (2010). Microsoft Kinect: the AnandTech review. Retrieved 2012 February from AnandTech: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4057/microsoft-kinect-the-anandtech-review.
- Microsoft. (2007). Microsoft expands Xbox 360 warranty coverage. Retrieved 2012 February from Microsoft: http://www.microsoft.com/presspass/press/2007/jul07/07-05warrantyextentionpr.mspx.
- Miller, R. (2009 August). Playstation 3 Slim review. Retrieved 2011 May from Engadget: http://www.engadget.com/2009/08/27/playstation-3-slim-review/.
- National Research Council. (2009). Real prospects for energy efficiency in the United States, America’s Energy Future Energy Efficiency Technologies Subcommittee.Google Scholar
- Natural Resources Defense Council. (2008). Lowering the cost of play: improving the energy efficiency of video game consoles. Natural Resources Defense Council.Google Scholar
- Nelson, C. (2007 Feb.). Xbox 360 vs. PS3 (and Wii)—power consumption report. Retrieved 2011 May from Hardcoreware: http://www.hardcoreware.net/reviews/review-356-4.htm.
- Nelson, C. (2010). Playstation 3 model guide. Retrieved 2011 from Hardcoreware: http://www.hardcoreware.net/playstation-3-model-guide/.
- Nielsen Company. (2010 15-December). Game consoles edge closer to serving as entertainment hubs. Retrieved 2011 5-January from NielsenWire: http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/game-consoles-edge-closer-to-serving-as-entertainment-hubs/.
- Nintendo. (2010 September). Wii system menu and feature updates. Retrieved 2011 September from Nintendo: http://www.nintendo.com/consumer/systems/wii/en_na/systemMenuFeatures.jsp.
- NPD Group. (2010). 2009 US video game industry and PC game software retail sales reach $20.2 billion. Retrieved 2011 from NPD Group: http://www.npd.com/press/releases/press_100114.html.
- Reeves, B., & Leighton, J. (2009). Total engagement: using games and virtual worlds to change the way people work and businesses compete. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.Google Scholar
- Rosen, K., Meier, A., & Zandelin, S. (2001). Energy use of set-top boxes and telephony products in the US. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Environmental Energy Technologies Division. available at: http://www.osti.gov/bridge/servlets/purl/785229-44IMnd/native/785229.pdf.
- Roth, K., & McKenney, K. (2007). Energy consumption by consumer electronics in US residences. Cambridge: TIAX LLC.Google Scholar
- Sands, A., Tseng, V. (2009 August). Game console failure rates. Retreived 2012 January from Squaretrade: http://www.squaretrade.com/htm/pdf/SquareTrade_Xbox360_PS3_Wii_Reliability_0809.pdf.
- Snow, B. (2005 December). Xbox 360 costs $715 to make. Retrieved 2011 July from Joystiq: http://www.joystiq.com/2005/12/28/xbox-360-costs-715-to-make/.
- Sony. (2011 June). System software updates. Retrieved 2011 September from Playstation: http://us.playstation.com/support/systemupdates/ps3/history/index.htm#update366.
- Sony Corporation. (2011). Q3 FY2010 consolidated results. Retrieved 2011 from Sony: http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/IR/financial/fr/viewer/10q3/.
- The Diffusion Group. (2010 12-April). The Diffusion Group. Retrieved 2011 10-January from Sony PS3 Most “Connected” Game Console: http://tdgresearch.com/blogs/press-releases/archive/2010/04/11/sony-ps3-most-connected-game-console.aspx.
- Thorn, G. (2011 March). Ten million Kinect sales break world record. Retrieved 2012 February from Herald Sun: http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/ten-million-kinect-sales-break-world-record/story-e6frf7l6-1226019318944.
- US Department of Energy. (2008 June). Electric power and renewable energy in Rhode Island. Retrieved 2011 July from US Department of Energy: http://apps1.eere.energy.gov/states/electricity.cfm/state=RI.
- VGChartz. (2011). Worldwide yearly chart, 2010. Retrieved 2011 from VGCharts: http://www.vgchartz.com/yearly.php?date=2009®=World&date=2010.