High-end PCs and current-gen consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X use a lot of power. While it may not sound like much, in the long run, this energy consumption can put us at the edge of an ecological disaster. That is if nothing is done to make the gaming industry more eco-friendly.
A PlayStation 4 is rated at 165W on max capacity, while a PlayStation 5 is rated at 350W. That’s more than a 100% increase in power consumption. If this keeps up, next-gen consoles in the future will hog even more power.
Let me tell you what is at stake here. Even if you might not care about the environment that much, government bodies can ban consoles and GPUs if they don’t meet efficiency standards. Why? Because the health of the planet comes first, and gaming isn’t the only form of entertainment out there.
People can live without gaming, but they won’t be able to live without the planet. We’re already seeing drastic climatic changes and global warming, which makes the official bodies even more active regarding energy efficiency.
Recently, we saw that the European Union might be banning 8K and 4K TVs that didn’t meet the energy efficiency standards. And I honestly appreciate the initiative. If anything, this gives a wake-up call to the gaming industry that the power consumption issue is real and it is getting out of hand.
If the devs and manufacturers don’t decide to make their products more eco-friendly, then we can all wait to see how long it will take the officials to ban the gaming industry from existence.
Take the new RTX 4090, for example. The card is undoubtedly powerful and massive in size, so it obviously hogs a lot of power. If you’re pairing Nvidia’s RTX 4090 with a powerful CPU like the AMD ThreadRipper, you might need a power supply that can offer up to 1300W.
Now, imagine what might be the power requirements of an even more powerful GPU if it ever comes out in the near future.
The Covid 19 and the mining craze a couple of years ago produced some obstacles in the gaming industry. People could not get their favorite GPUs because they were either out of stock or being sold at a ridiculous price.
As a result of that and the PlayStation 4 port, the games that were released in the last few years had fairly low requirements. Some people also weren’t actively trying to buy the RTX 20 or 30 Series due to the availability.
But now that those issues have died down, game requirements for the latest releases are going high again. Game developers are also insisting on getting rid of the Xbox Series S port for upcoming games.
Not having an Xbox Series S port will allow the devs to cater their games according to the current-gen powerhouse consoles such as the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X. A high-end PC equipped with RTX 20 and 30 series will still be in the business. But for how long?
Eventually, people will have to buy more powerful GPUs and consoles. That is if they want to enjoy the latest games, which can endanger the environment. The gaming industry as a whole might be at risk if things keep going like this.
The point is that it is not just the manufacturers that need to make more eco-friendly consoles or GPUs. It is also the job of game developers to cater to those requirements and optimize their games accordingly.
We’ll have to scale down the hardware at one point or the other. And also make the games more optimized to keep the gaming industry up and well. However, there are no signs of that happening any time soon. Not unless some government or any other official body calls out the gaming industry for their absurd power consumption.
Besides the devs and manufacturers, we, as consumers, also have a part to play in making the gaming industry more eco-friendly. We have to raise a voice wherever we can and accept the changes that will come with scaling down the hardware capabilities to make the devices more eco-friendly.
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