With next-gen consoles launching this week, you might be wondering which one is the most environmentally friendly. And according to a study conducted earlier in the year, the PlayStation 5 (PS5) will produce fewer emissions than the Xbox Series X.
The research found that the PS5 produced 0.022kg of CO2 equivalent per hour of use, whereas the Xbox Series X produced 0.07kg/CO2. This means the PlayStation 5 only produces a third of what the Series X does.
The calculations are simple to make, by looking at the components of each console and how much electricity they use, you can determine their impact on the environment.
A History of Game Consoles and the Environment
The study didn’t just look at next-gen consoles. It analyzed a variety of consoles throughout the year.
The deep-dive found that Nintendo consoles are the most environmentally friendly consoles with 0.008kg of CO2 per hour. This makes perfect sense since they are much weaker in comparison.
And on the flipside, Xbox consoles have the biggest impact on the environment with an average of 0.031kg of CO2 per hour.
However, to be fair, the gap between PlayStation and Xbox is incredibly small when looking at the average.
Note: The study does not take into consideration the emissions from game servers. This could make a tremendous difference in calculations.
A More Energy Efficient Console
One of the biggest advantages of the PlayStation 5, from an environmental perspective, is the huge reduction in energy used while a game is suspended.
According to Sony, their console will only use 0.5 W in this mode. And if just 1 million users enable this feature, it could save a thousand homes worth of energy.
Servers Make A Big Difference
It is very likely that all consoles will have a bigger focus on cloud-based gaming.
This has the potential to push emissions either higher or lower depending on how players adopt the technology. And of course, traditional game servers use a tremendous amount of energy to support millions of players every day.
This might be one area where Microsoft has the advantage as the company plans to be carbon negative by 2030. And keeping Xbox emissions low will be a big part of that.