High price for PS5 is more evidence for power-hungry new consoles

Sony is struggling to get manufacturing costs for the upcoming Playstation 5 below $450 according to new information from Bloomberg. The outlet reports that a number of particularly expensive components are responsible for pushing manufacturing costs above those of current generation consoles.

Along with typically pricey components like system memory and high-spec solid state storage, the report highlighted an unusually expensive cooling system as a factor in the $450 price tag. 

While advanced cooling systems can have a range of benefits – including keeping the console quiet or helping designers reduce systems’ physical footprint – it’s likely the focus on cooling is due to the high voltages the system will require to maintain clock speeds.

A test leak earlier this year of what is assumed to be Playstation 5 hardware revealed, among other things, a graphics chip running at 2.0ghz, a speed well above most consumer graphics cards.

Nvidia’s cloud gaming service looks great for gamers but bad for CO2

US Tech giant Nvidia launched its new cloud gaming service Geforce Now yesterday, more than five years after launching its old cloud gaming service Geforce Now. Best known for manufacturing high-performance graphics cards, the company’s latest cloud gaming venture is set to rival Google’s Stadia service which launched late last year. 

The new platform looks to offer considerably more flexibility than Stadia at a significantly lower price (for now). While Google Stadia requires users to buy games individually on their service to play, Geforce Now will plug into existing services, including Steam, for a subscription of $5 a month.

Ditching Google’s service is likely to look even more tempting to users given the lack of announcements regarding new games or features for the platform – a possible side effect of a last minute decision to double the games library at launch.

Geforce Now  has been praised by a number of outlets, predicting Nvidia’s triumph over Google in the cloud gaming space. But the announcement of more competition may not be quite so positive for CO2 levels, considering the disparity in the two companies green credentials.

While google claims to have used 100% renewable energy since 2017, Nvidia’s latest sustainability report confirms that less than half of the electricity they use comes from renewable sources. 

It’s still early days for both services. Who will come out on top as market leader, and how much the cloud gaming market will eventually be worth, is still uncertain. But if Google is to appeal to anyone except the most ardent of fans, it seems like it may have some serious catching up to do.

SEGA PC games to be sold in in 100% recyclable packaging

The game developer best known for its blue, animal saving mascot is set to reaffirm its planet saving credentials by making packaging for its PC games 100% recyclable. 

Sports focused Sega subsidiary Sports Interactive announced that the popular Football Manager series would be made from recycled materials back in September and the move has now been widened out to all Sega PC games including Total War: Rome II – Enemy at the Games Edition, which releases this Thursday.

The new packaging consists of recycled and recyclable paper and cardboard for the game’s box and manual wrapped in 100% recyclable low-density polyethylene. While the use of these materials increases the cost of production by 20 pence per game, Sega hopes that the costs will be made up by savings in transportation.

We’re hopeful that this new commitment to recyclable packaging will catch on among PC game developers, a similar move on console would require a significaiton deviation from Xbox, Sony and Nintendo’s strict controls on plastic game packaging.

Rob Bartholomew, Chief Product Officer at for the Total War series, said: “We’re proud that Creative Assembly is able to collaborate with SEGA on this great initiative to help reduce plastic waste and be a part of this small step towards a greener industry.”

Cloud gaming companies behind massive uptick in renewable energy

Tech conglomerates responsible for some of the biggest players in the video game industry led a giant swing towards renewables in 2019, according to a new report by BloombergNEF. 

Google led the pack of green energy buyers by quite a margin, having also released new gaming platform Google Stadia in September last year. The new platform, which uses cloud computing to play modern games on TV’s, computers and mobile phones, requires vast, powerful data centres to run games. 

It’s likely that the launch of Stadia required significant additions to the companies already massive network of data centres, requiring a great deal more power to boot. 

Xbox platform owner Microsoft made the top four list too, having also invested heavily in cloud computing for its project Xcloud (currently in preview). Facebook and Amazon rounded out the list of four, both of whom are rumored to be planning to add cloud gaming to their business in the near future. 

While these companies’ commitment to clean energy is encouraging, the results may also point to a potentially massive increase in energy consumption. Early predictions of the impact of cloud gaming on carbon emissions have been mixed, but the companies’ commitment to using clean energy will at least help mitigate platforms’ potential for massive carbon emissions.

Welcome to EcoGamer

Hello, and Welcome to EcoGamer. 

Hopefully you’ve made your way here because you’re just like us. Passionate about video games and yet committed to helping avoid the destruction of all life on earth. 

To help bridge the gap we’ll have guides to help you be a better green gamer, news that brings you the latest in gaming from an ecological point of view, and features on the hot issues of the day or maybe just natter about our favourite video game greenery.

If this sounds like your kind of thing, then hang out, read a thing or two and maybe even subscribe.We’ll do our best to make sure our posts are of the best quality we can muster, but if there’s anything you don’t like (or we get wrong), you can email mail@ecogamer.co.uk and we’ll respond as fast as is humanly possible. 

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