10:00 AM on 07.09.2009
This may be the "Northern California liberal hippie" talking in me, but sometimes I really question whether the energy I use to play videogames is worth the entertainment. I mean, you don't have to have gone to the same high school as Jerry Garcia, in a town run by the Green Party, followed by living in Berkeley (like I have) to realize that your Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii eat up a lot of energy while in use. Costs add up, but even more startling, so does our gamer-impact on the environment. Captain Planet is not pleased.
What's scary is that even when our consoles are on standby, they still use electricity. According to green gadget maker TrickleStar, the PS3 will burn off the equivalent of $250 over a year spent in standby, with the 360 doing only slightly better. The Wii, thankfully, uses ten times less than the PS3, which is great for Nintendo, when they are not ranking last on Greenpeace's Guide to Greener Electronics.
Ultimately, one option is to just unplug the console in question when not in use, but as someone who has tried this method, I can vouch that it just doesn't work. I plainly forget each day, and the hassle of reaching around the TV to plug and unplug my 360, for example, is as obnoxious as ELF members on a street corner asking for "only $15 a month to help save our planet".
That's why TrickleStar announced this weird little device, the TV TrickleSaver. Designed with game consoles in mind (but usable for any device with an electrical plug), this stupidly-named adapter acts as an electrical barrier to your game consoles when your TV is turned off. Sure, it's expensive at 35 bucks, and, as Gizmodo points out, it means that all passive actions your console performs (downloads, recharging controllers, etc.) cannot be done without the TV on, but it's one price you can pay if you want to be a greener gamer. Or you can just unplug the damn thing each night.
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