Staying current on gaming isn't cheap. The consoles themselves cost about $400, and new retail games launch at $90. Even for a player who avoids DLC and only buys year-old or used games, the costs add up.
But what's really costing gamers? The electric bills.
Games consoles are known power hogs, but a recently published study from researchers at Carnegie Mellon University drives the point home. The biggest issue, the study finds, is not how much electricity the consoles pull while being actively used, nor even the "vampire" effect where electronics powered off still drain electricity. The biggest, most wasteful draw, it turns out, comes from consoles that are on but idle.
As CNET summarises :
According to the research, 68 per cent of all game console energy consumed in 2010 happened while in idle mode, which equaled 10.8 TWh of energy and about $US1.24 billion in electricity costs. Overall, 1 per cent of U.S. residential energy consumption in 2010 was spent on video game consoles, which is an increase of almost 50 per cent over three years ago.
The moral of the story, according to the researchers? Turn your consoles off when you're not actually using them. A billion dollars spent on not even using consoles is a billion dollars that could be much better spent indeed.
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