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Study: Wii isn't necessarily 'greener' than Xbox 360, PS3

5:20 PM on 03.29.2011 // Dale North
  @DaleNorth

Eric Hittinger is a PhD student and researcher in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. He's also a gamer and Destructoid reader. His feeling was that the Wii isn't necessarily 'greener' than any other of the game consoles when it came to power consumption. This all led to his latest paper, "Power Consumption of Video Game Consoles Under Realistic Usage Patterns." In this he found that the Wii really isn't a lightweight when it comes to power consumption. Here's one of the biggest take-aways from the data he sent us:

Wii with WiiConnect24 enabled uses 550 Wh of electricity (including active and standby) for each hour of active use, which is significantly higher than the figures for the currently-available Xbox 360 S (125 Wh per hour of use) and PS3 Slim (107 Wh per hour of use) consoles. Even with WiiConnect24 disabled, the average Wii consumes approximately the same amount of electricity for each hour of use as currently available models of PS3 and Xbox 360.

Face, Nintendo!

Using recent Nielson data about console usage and recognizing the existence of the WiiConnect24 service, this paper concluded that the Nintendo's Wii could even be considered substantially worse than the Xbox 360 or PS3 in power usage, depending on conditions. More importantly, Hittinger found that any game console, when powered down after use, compares favorably to other household electronics. 

You'll find more surprising findings after the jump. If you'd like to read Hittinger's full paper, head here.

Interesting results from this research:

  • - The average Wii with WiiConnect24 enabled uses 550 Wh of electricity (including active and standby) for each hour of active use, which is significantly higher than the figures for the currently-available Xbox 360 S (125 Wh per hour of use) and PS3 Slim (107 Wh per hour of use) consoles. Even with WiiConnect24 disabled, the average Wii consumes approximately the same amount of electricity for each hour of use as currently available models of PS3 and Xbox 360. 
  •  97% of the electricity consumed by the average Wii with WiiConnect24 enabled occurs when it is not being used. For other consoles (including the Wii with WiiConnect24 disabled), this figure is 10 - 30%. 
  • - The console with the highest annual consumption (a launch-model Xbox 360) accounts for only 1% of an average household's electricity use if it is powered down to standby mode after use. The other consoles vary down to 0.2% (for the Wii with WiiConnect24 disabled). If a launch-model Xbox 360 is left on continuously, the electricity consumption would jump to 15% of the average residential usage. 
  •  - If a game offering 30 hours of gameplay is played over 6 weeks on a launch-model PS3 (the highest consumption of the consoles examined), the total electricity consumed during this time is 6.7 kWh, which costs $0.80 at average residential electricity prices (other consoles range from $0.10 to $0.70). This is very low compared with the purchase price of a current-generation game (up to $60) and the cost of the system and peripherals.

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Dale North, Former Dtoid EIC
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