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  • Is Gaming Becoming More Environmentally Conscious?

Is Gaming Becoming More Environmentally Conscious?

Oct 25 2019 Read 944 Times

Environmentalism is becoming an ever hotter topic by the day, with the focus on curbing our carbon emissions a key priority for governments all across the world. Often, large-scale initiatives like the medium combustion plant directive target industry and big business, but there are plenty of things that everyday citizens can do to curb their emissions, too.

Gaming represents an area where these two realms overlap. Eco-friendly behaviour by individuals is essential to making tiny impacts on the collective output, but top-down changes are always the most effective form of bringing about meaningful action. Fortunately, gaming tycoons Sony have committed to making the next iteration of their hugely popular PlayStation console more eco-friendly.

Sustainable habits

Due out for release by Christmas 2020, the PlayStation 5 (or PS5) promises to allow users greater ability to make sustainably-minded adjustments to their playing habits. For example, gamers will be able to pause their game and revert to an operating system which consumes less electricity than normal. Sony estimate that if one million customers enable the feature, they would be able to save enough power to light and heat 1,000 homes.

Sony CEO Jim Ryan has indicated that the company will be looking to optimise the energy-efficiency of its data centres, as well. They plan to carry out thorough carbon footprint assessments for all of their inhouse operations and make sure their gaming services are optimised to deliver as environmentally-friendly a product as possible. This includes providing all developers with whom they work reference info in order to allow them to make their games sustainable.

Elsewhere, Sony also plan to help raise awareness about environmental issues among their vast customer base. As well as ensuring all users remain informed about the energy-saving capabilities of the PS5, they also are investigating the possibility of investing in VR applications which revolve around environmental themes.

Committed to change

All too often, advances in technology can prove to be as much of a problem as a solution when it comes to the planet’s health, but Sony are at least making strides towards reducing their carbon footprint, both among their own employees and across their immense network of fans. Tellingly, they’re one of the first large companies to sign up to the UN’s Playing for the Planet initiative.

In fact, they have already made progress with regard to the current console’s environmental performance. By tweaking its configuration, they’ve already saved the equivalent of 16 million tonnes of CO2 and expect that figure to rise to 29 million tonnes by 2030. For context, that’s the same annual emissions output as a country the size of Denmark.

“There is an undeniable opportunity for leaders in the games industry to take a stand and support the UN Environment team by communicating the importance of preserving natural resources for generations to come,” explained Ryan. “At PlayStation, we believe games have the power to ignite social change through educating people, evoking emotions, and inspiring hope. We could not be more proud to be part of the Playing for the Planet Alliance and the commitments announced. We look forward to seeing what the industry can achieve together.”

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