PlayStation - Xbox - Nintendo Consoles

Concerns over energy consumption and pollution have become increasingly more aggressive over the years. As many countries and now everyday people take their carbon footprint into consideration, this has led some to make active decisions to use products that have the least amount of impact on the environment. Electronics play a big role in these discussions, as they do require lots of resources to make, consume lots of energy, and contribute to a lot of waste material. The Nintendo Switch, however, looks to be the “greenest” modern system of all.

In a study conducted by NerdWalleton the lifetime cost of owning a game console, it turns out that the Switch seems to take up the least amount of energy used, at least going by the perspective of a person’s power bill. The study, which was conducted between December 2020 and January 2021, concluded that the Switch is the cheapest console to operate over time due to its low energy consumption. The study found that the average user had an energy bill of £101.43 throughout the console’s lifetime. This is a whopping £100 cheaper than the Xbox Series X|S (£200.24 was its bill), and £65 less than the PS5 (£165.77).

Those are some serious savings, especially if you’re a budget-conscious consumer. You can easily pass those savings onto reinvesting them into more games/peripherals, or just drop them in a savings account. For the sake of comparison, NerdWallet’s study also included last-gen systems into the mix. The PS3 and Xbox 360 came close to their newest counterparts, but the PS4 and Xbox One actually turned out to be the worst offenders with bills exceeding £200. The Wii and Wii U kept the green theme, with the Wii’s bill only being £83.33 and the Wii U being the overall champ over everything else (for once in its life) with an absolutely meager energy bill of £28.75. Why? Perhaps it may have something to do with its interesting architecture, but that’s impressive nonetheless.

The Switch is one green machine

Nintendo Switch - Green - Sales - Money

It’s not too surprising that the Switch fared so well in this test. Considering that the system is a hybrid, it makes use of mobile components that would have originally only been found in phones and tablets. Seeing that it has to power everything via a battery, these components absolutely need to be power-efficient.

When docked, the Switch mostly uses power to just keep that battery charged, along with boosting the clock speed of the consoles GPU and CPU. It certainly helps that the Switch is a significantly smaller device overall, so of course, it’s not going to be anywhere near as power-hungry as its full-size competitors.

But, going off the data from the past systems and how much worse they’re faring, you can see that companies as a whole have gotten a lot smarter about how power is used. So, while modern systems are significantly more capable than the consoles of the last decade, they don’t chew through energy as badly since their components are more efficient and energy-conscious.

So, if the power bill is a big expense to you, now you know which systems are going to contribute the least and most to that number. Of course, this is going to vary country-to-country, but it still gives you an idea of energy consumption.

A.K Rahming
Having been introduced to video games at the age of 3 via a Nintendo 64, A.K has grown up in the culture. A fan of simulators and racers, with a soft spot for Nintendo! But, he has a great respect for the entire video game world and enjoys watching it all expand as a whole.

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