back to article Greenpeace slams next-gen consoles

Eco-lobbyist Greenpeace is on a mission to upset the gaming industry, because consoles are apparently upsetting the environment. It’s ranked the Wii as the least environmentally friendly console, compared to the PS3 and Xbox 360. Greenpeaceconsoles Clash of the Consoles: Greenpeace urges gaming to go green Although none of …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm sure I speak for many here when is say...

    ...that Greenpeace can f**k off. Right off.

    Stop with the headline hijacking 'crusades-of-the-week', and go and hug some trees instead.

  2. Rob

    bunch of commies

    who won't be happy until we're all living in mud, having renounced all of the benefits of modern technology. While they fly around in private jets with armed bodyguards - the wankers!

  3. Phil Standen

    Next gen

    They aren't next gen any more, they are the current generation.

  4. carey pridgeon

    I'm sorry, what?

    Let me see, there are whole, irreplaceable rain forests being destroyed, there is fossil fuel being burned at an unsustainable rate, and the level of waste production worldwide is greater that at any previous time in human history, and they're stressing about gaming consoles?

    If ever there was a time for a solid beating with a reality stick, this is it...

  5. Chris Long

    Usual gripe

    Standby power use isn't wasted, it's helping to heat your house. A PS3 on standby is just a very expensive, very low power electrical heater.

    Anyone living in Alaska, or a northern European winter, can and should ignore such nonsense.

  6. Matt

    A mistake

    My PS3 doesn't consume 128W on standby. Surly this is a mis-print. I don't think it eats 128W even when playing games.

    If they've got it so wrong for the PS3, then it brings into question the rest of what they're saying.

    Besides all of that, I unplug the thing if I'm not going to be using it for a few hours.

    At the end of the day, all console usage is a drop in the ocean compared to de-forestation, space shuttle launches, satellite launches and pointless wars in Iraq!

  7. Anonymous Coward

    toxic crusaders

    Where's the list of toxic chemicals used in each console? The list which they based their "Poor" rating for each console on?

    I can't seem to find it on their website, so I'm going to assume they don't know, and rate them with "Poor" for factual accuracy and fairness.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    we don't care

    we don't care

    we may of used to care

    but greenpeace and the other envirofags are like modern day puritians except they're moaning about the physical environment as opposed to the moral. All very reasonable but boring as hell.

    There are far more dangerous things in the world then carbon dioxide, and who cares how much power a device uses if all the power stations are nuclear, green or have carbon filters.

    Anyway neither nintendo nor sony will care.

    So let greenpeace pratel on, we'll keep playing our games, doing business, inovating new power sources and moving forward whilst they're ground into insignificance. Either that or we'll die of mercury posioning from energy saving lightbulb disposal.

  9. Arnold Lieberman

    Stand by

    "However, both the Xbox 360 and PS3 fared much worse than the Wii when Greenpeace tested standby electricity use. The Xbox 360 Elite model apparently used 97W, while the PS3 consumes 128W. The Wii uses up just 15W, the NGO said."

    As much as I feel nothing but contempt for the (growing) miserablist element of the green movement, this is a bit of a shocker. 128W for standby! I don't own a PS3 so can any users comment on the heat output when the box is 'off'? Sod the CO2, think of the leccy cost!

    Of course, there's always the option of unplugging the bugger when it's not being used. Never did understand the point of "standby" mode on most gadgets (VCRs excepted).

  10. Tom


    Are Nintendo bottom again because they didn't return the form again? I'm sure a console such as the Wii which consumes a tenth of the power of the 360/PS3 must been seen as more friendly?

  11. PeteGraham

    Energy expenditure?

    And how much energy did it take for them to conduct this survey? Do I even care? By staying home and playing on my wii or PS3, I'm not going out, therefore not using public or private transport. That's good for the environment isn't it? What a waste of my life reading this article. I'll never get those few seconds back.

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    We love them....

    we someone tell the tree huggers to f**k off, before I get bus with my chainsaw Doom stylee...

  13. Mike Wharton
    Flame I dont think thats correct

    Where did greenpeace get those "standby" power usage estimates. Everywhere else on the web I see people measuring the PS3's standby power usage at less than a few Watts...

    True, it uses a hell of a lot of power when running, but the Wii uses around 15W on standby because it auto downloads updates so I wreckon over the course of a year the Wii probably uses more power.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Did Greenpeace ask the permission of the creators to use these video game characters?

    Let's hope not.

    Anyone for a four way Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, hippy kill-joy frag-fest?

  15. Ash

    Greenpeace idiots

    How about you compare the environmental damage of running one of these consoles for a couple of hours with the environmental, audible, visual, and social impact of some raz'd up chav driving his plywood-spoiler'd Nova at 65mph down a residential road with some shitty Hard House dirge pumping out of his Halfords sub woofer?

    Maybe even the faux-burberry paint job he did with a couple of cans of spray paint and some masking tape from B&Q?

    I'd rather have the console.

    (I know it's not the point of the article.)

  16. Chris Morrison
    Thumb Down

    Old News

    Is this not old news from a few weeks ago?

    And didn't Nintendo fail because they didn't submit any documents ratehr than because of any proof they were enviromentally bad?

    Down with this sort of thing!

  17. Sean Aaron

    X-box and PS3 aren't very next gen on standby power are they?

    There's no way I'd leave a piece of home electronics on standby if it used that much juice. My plasma telly uses next to nil and I'm happy to leave the Wii on as well for the same reason, but 95-100w? That's just criminal.

  18. Steve Todd

    Have no policy on toxic substances?

    Whatever manufacturers sell in Europe has to comply with RoHS, which is pretty strict about these things. The policy is therefore "must be saleable in our target markets".

    Have Greenpeace nothing better to do with their time?

  19. Matthew

    Standby power

    These greenies routinely exaggerate their figures in order to get their BS published. You can easily use a clip on ammeter just after the plug to see how many amps any device is pulling, times that by the voltage of your power supply (220-230Volts normally) and you'll get your wattage figure.

    Without even looking, I'm 100% confident that the figures GP have come up with are nonsense.

  20. kevin hoque

    As mentioned before, it looks like these figures are incorrect...

    It *appears* that these are figures for when the machine is on by *not* playing a game - not when the machines are on standby. Would be nice if greenpeace published an apology for their error.

  21. Richard
    Paris Hilton

    As usual Greenpeace aren't considering the whole picture

    Responsible production and disposal or the lack thereof are what Greenpeace *should* be campaigning about, not that toxic chemicals exist and are in things. The only reason that the toxic chemicals are a problem in anything is that we live in a society that thinks end of life means straight to landfill.

    I remember watching a documentary a while back which revealed how the EU directive to banish heavy metals like lead and cadmium from TVs and monitors led to a surge in demand for a certain kind of copper that can only be found in significant quantities in the Congo rainforest, where production a) caused large scale deforestation and b) was via slave labour.

    As Greenpeace aren't campaigning over the use of mercury in energy efficient lightbulbs, you'd think that they'd got to grips with a slightly more holistic approach. Instead they're wasting precious resources on another headline grabbing "report", a job that they really should leave to one Ms P. Hilton.

  22. George Jenkins
    Paris Hilton

    @Mike Wharton

    What did you read? Your survey ( only mentions the PS3 as a future console they would like to test.

  23. John Mangan

    The Wii... PREVIOUS gen isn't it?

  24. Anonymous Coward


    If they are so concerned about the Earth dying, surely they should be spending more time playing games while the fun lasts...

  25. John Young

    Those are not standby figures

    Sandby energy uses are, according to

    Wii 1.3/9.6W (Connect24 off/on)

    PS3 1.9W

    Xbox360 2.5W

  26. Craig Richards

    not pwning enough

    lets face it. Greenpeace are just having trouble completing Mario Galaxy and Halo 3. so they thought they'd take it out on the console manufacturers.

    Damn hippies.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @X-box and PS3 aren't very next gen on standby power are they?

    that's becouse Greenpeace are lying

    on standby it's between 0 and 1 watt ps3 about 2 for 360 and 8 for the wii.

    Yoinked from above links and other sites and google search.

  28. Karl Lattimer
    Thumb Down

    Anyone else sick of being told what you can't do

    F**king hippies, f**king anti-smoking lobby, f**king anti-alcohol lobby...

    Why don't all of these organisations come together and issue a public health warning against any form of fun.

  29. Ian Watkinson

    Greenpeace...headline of the week

    Shortage of wii's...= green peace headline on wii.

    New apple ipod in new..Greenpeace headline on apple..

    So I guess next week is either cyanide is bad for us,

    or how the Police striking will mean more cups of team and that global warming will be coming 10 minutes earlier...

  30. Matt
    Paris Hilton

    Facts and figures

    So, it now looks like the PS3 uses less than 1W on standby. Shouldn't the ever vigilant hacks at El Reg have done their own search to find this out? Surly we can expect a bit better than "copy paste" from someone's press release?

  31. Eponymous Cowherd
    Thumb Down

    Standby busters

    A colleague bought some of those 'standby buster' gizmos. Turns out (using a plug-in power meter) that the 'buster' consumes more power than his TV on standby (1w compared to 0.9W).

  32. Anonymous Coward


    1) Toxic chemical use - until I see a breakdown of not only the chemicals used in all three but what alternatives there are that are non-toxic, this is meaningless. Additionally - should I buy a console I would be buying it to play games, not HAVE IT FOR DINNER. When I do come to throw it away, toxic chemicals are only an issue should I decide to throw it away into a canal.

    2) Toxic chemical policy - see above

    3) Recycling - my local council has a great recycling policy for PCs at the local dump, I'm sure they wouldn't mind having games consoles in with all the TVs, PCs, fridges and freezers etc.

    4) Standby power consumtion - so, all 3 consoles use about the same as an electic lightbulb or less. Certainly less than say a high spec gaming pc. This is in "idle" mode they say, well... that is also meaningless. Woo...the wii uses least while sitting waiting for a disc. How bout measuring the power when its in use? duuuhhhh!

  33. Damien Jorgensen

    FFS this shouldnt on here

    We dont come to the register to read rubbish from green nutters that wouldnt know the truth if it hit them in the face

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    So, how much energy do their ships use?

  35. Highlander


    Hang on, Greenpeace just recently lauded Sony as being the best among the Electronics companies, didn't they? This seems something of an about face from the Greenies, perhaps they should get on message?

    I'm sure I remember the Register reporting on that story...oh yeah, here it is.

    So, Greenpeace thinks standby power use is how high? Really? Gosh, I wish that Greenpeace would at least get it's facts straight about *stand-by* numbers. Perhaps they are considering a PS3 that is folding to be in 'stand-by' mode? Personally I think that a PS3 in Folding mode is probably doing more good for humanity that Greenpeace is in it's 'Rainbow Warrior' mode. Certainly when you inflate a power number to more than 100 times the actual value, your credibility is going to take a knock. A pity then that both PS3 and FPSBox360 have actual stand-by power consumption in the very, very, low single digits.

    But hey, you pay your money, you take your choice.

  36. Jacob Reid
    Paris Hilton

    Helping Sony/M$?

    Ok, I actually want to buy a PS3/360 now (not the wii, it is still crap), just to annoy the environ-mentalists.

    Maybe greenpeace should help reduce global warming by not producing so much hot air and bullsh*t.

  37. Curtis W. Rendon

    Nut jobs

    I thank all you rednecks for your comments. Knowing that you still think of us hippies and environmentalists as the enemy does my heart good. (Although thinking is probably to generous a term...)

    Try unplugging your twitch games when you are done with them.

    F'in morons.

  38. Starace

    Oi! Greenpeace!

    ...shut it, or we'll send the French 'round again!

    Typical campaigners, concentrating on unimportant issues while ignoring the things that might actually work. So much easier to be a puritanical neo-Luddite and just try to stop other people having anything enjoyable in their lives.

    If you're really that bothered about environmental impacts, go euthanise yourself and reduce your personal impact down to zero.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'm the first one to want to reject technology, in general...

    But you lay a finger on my Wii console & gaming PC's someone WILL get hurt. The Greenpeace wankers are neither completely green, nor are they peaceful, so piss off fools.

  40. yeah, right.

    On the other hand...

    If I'm playing games, I'm not destroying the world by driving to my favourite hiking spot, or flying to my favourite eco-tourism destination, or hunting whales, or logging old growth forests, or any number of potentially harmful things I could be doing. Also, the electricity is does use is being converted to heat, which means that my furnace runs 0.002% less.

    Still, would be nice to know that what I'm doing isn't contributing to the poisoning of the environment around the factories that produce the consoles. Amazing how the reporting of certain facts can be so obviously slanted one way or another by the person writing the article.

  41. Grant P.

    Why argue so much? You could be having fun

    Problem is, both sides automatically don't like each other. Misunderstanding is also par for the course: i.e. Greenpeace said "standby" when they shoulda said "idle." But can you really blame a group that's too busy with their arborial relationships to pay much attention to console details?

    As for the "antis," you say that GP is a bunch of morons for writing this story: whether they meant it or it's just coincidence, you ARE thinking about the environment, aren't you?

    Quot:"Typical campaigners, concentrating on unimportant issues while ignoring the things that might actually work."

    If they had gone and campaigned on things that "might actually work," well, like what? They ARE trying to do something good here. And it's not like they're grabbing your console out of your hands and lighting it on fire after removing the toxins and putting it in a gasification column to prevent unfriendly byproducts, no. They're just complaining about this. And you don't have to listen, so stop complaining. They can waste their breath if they'd like. But I think that, although dumb, their story was effective: if they were out in the rainforests feeding sick pandas or something, would "you" give a crap? No. You'd keep playing, saying there go those enviro nut-heads again. By publishing this lame story they have got your attention & interest because it's something your demographic can relate to. How else are they gonna get you interested in something you care nothing about?? I think it's a pretty damn clever bit of PR, if they intended it, that is... but only in terms of strategy; the content was flakey to put it politely.

    Ever heard the sayings, "Every bit helps" or "Every snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty." ?

  42. Dan

    @Karl Latimer

    Hell yep. I'm with you on this one. If it isn't the war-on-terror brigade trying to make everyone scared of their own shadows it's don't drive my car, don't play games, don't go anywhere nice on holiday, don't drink/smoke/eat bacon (STEP AWAY FROM THE BACON SARNIE AND FUCK OFF!)/exercise vigorously/behave differently/etc etc ad infinitum. The objective is to live as long as fucking possible, regardless of how boring your life will be.

  43. Giles Jones Gold badge

    @John Mangan

    The Wii is Nintendo's current generation product.

    It's control mechanism is way better than the XBox and PS3 for sure. Once you have used a Wii for a while and then try a PS3 it's like trying to use a desktop computer without a mouse.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Do one greenpeace

    I think I'm gonna go out now and burn down a tree just out of spite. I'm am SICK of being told by the media, the government and 'groups' like greenpeace what I should do and also how and when. Saying that consoles are not green. Well Duh! Neither are TVs, washing machines, tumble driers, blenders, food processors, computers. In fact name one electrical product that does not impact the environment. You can't because they don't exist. Even Wind up electical things have caused pollution and environmental damage in their manufacture. So saying that consoles are not green is actually not saying anything new at all. They're just not in the media at the moment and want to cause a stir to gain attention by spotlighting a popular product as it's victim. Stuff em that's what I say. Global warming is occurring on every planet in our solar system. It's not a man made phenomenon, it's a lie. DON'T VOTE GREENPEACE.

  45. Nick


    Not in my Back Room its not - when I've got my xbox360 and projector going, I don't need to heat the rest of the house, so I'm saving Gas by not having to put my central heating on.

    What I want to know is how much pollution goes Greenpeace's website make? All that time sitting there, using electricity to pump out data around the world, and all the intermediary devices in between. Why doesn't Greenpeace close down, all that hippy energy being used to create these useless surveys and policical comment could be saved by burning them as fuel and converting that useless hot air into useful electricity.

  46. Rob Gemmell

    computers not cnosles require more power

    I find it humorous that gaming consoles are getting attacked ... yes, they may consume more power; however, one have to consider the amount of power a computer consumes. People with gaming machine are toting 800w-1Kw PSUs. I don't know what the average consumption rate of that ... I know that they don't run at they're full capacity all of the time, but I'm sure the average consumption of those bad boys make the consoles pale in comparison. What about the average users computer ... offices and colleges/universities run their computers non stop all year round ... that's some major consumption. And if they're so worried about the power consumption, then look into other modes of "eco-friendly" power sources such as solar and wind power ... I'm sure it wouldn't take much to build a combo wind/solar power and invert it to a power generator. I'm not knowledgeable in electronics, but I'm sure something liek that can be done.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @Nut jobs - Curtis W. Rendon

    "I thank all you rednecks for your comments. Knowing that you still think of us hippies and environmentalists as the enemy does my heart good. (Although thinking is probably to generous a term...)

    Try unplugging your twitch games when you are done with them.

    F'in morons."

    I'm sure greenpeace would like to thank you for your contribution to their cause, and for the great work you are doing to eliminate the stereotype that their supporters are condescending, ill-informed, rude and reactionary. Bravo *clap* *clap* *clap*

    Now please crawl back under the bridge you came from.

  48. Grant P.


    Hi there again. 1st, let me apologize: I've been trying to keep a fairly neutral voice in this matter but I can no longer do so. Why? Read on.

    Did anyone bother to go to the Greenpeace site and watch their really short, albeit fairly lame, video or look around the website before insulting them? Did you read the message at the end of it? No? Well, it states: "Jump in... Tell your game console company Wii would like to live and play in a toxic free world." Should say toxin free world, and the Wii joke was god-awful, but close enough I guess... that's besides my point, which is this: those of you who are whining about GP, suggesting they do things like, "...issue a public health warning against any form of fun." Well I am sorry (for you), but you're pretty darn stupid. Did GP say STOP PLAYING? NO. Did they tell you to get rid of your consoles, or to stop playing them because of the enviro impact? Again, NO. Are they against all forms of fun & entertainment, as many of you seem to believe? NO! Their message is simple and concise: Gaming is fun, but the companies who make consoles should be more responsible by seeking out non-toxic alternatives to lead, et al; if you agree, then tell said companies how you feel! That's it! That's all! They're not trying to stop you from having or buying or using consoles, they're just trying to lessen their environmental impact when they are INEVITABLY thrown away: think about it- every single console in history becomes obsolete, and most get tossed; out with the old, in with the new (& more expensive). Given that nearly every one of these consoles will eventually find its way into a landfill or something, wouldn't it be a good idea to make sure that they're not going to be leaching out poison for you and your children and their children...X500 to enjoy??

    I usually try to avoid taking sides, but in this case, Greenpeace is my contender- sure, they have plenty of faults, but their message in no way condones totalitarian restrictions on manufacture of these and similar devices; they're simply promoting environmental stewardship and the notion that we ought to consider what will happen to the toys of today when they end up in tomorrow's landfills. So maybe, just MAYBE, you could get off your ass, stop playing Halo3 for five minutes, and send an email to MS or Sony or Nintendo requesting that they be more environmentally sound, perhaps by applying RoHS (Restriction of Hazardous Substances- an EU mandate) to the global market or something, and sooner than 2010. It's not that difficult. Also maybe they could add ~$5 as a recycling fee at time of purchase to make sure they'll take it back when it's beat. Seems more likely than having them volunteer to do it themselves even if they could get some dough from recycling parts/materials.

    Finally, don't put words in their mouths. Just because you THINK Greenpeace is a bunch of buzzkill, tree-f!#*ing, no-fun-having whackos DOESN'T MAKE IT SO. Yes, I'm sure that a few of their more extremist members exude some of those qualities, but by and large, especially in their official PR stuff which seems quite carefully prepared, Greenpeace is realistic and tolerant of E-entertainment and such- I just don't like how large their ratio of complaining about stuff vs. suggesting viable alternatives, happens to be. Though they do offer some.

    Quot:"In fact name one electrical product that does not impact the environment. You can't because they don't exist."

    Well I sure can't. Of course not. Pretty much anything we do will have some environmental impact- ever heard of "The Butterfly Effect?" But you already knew your answer, and further, you are missing the point entirely. Again, it is: more thoughtful manufacturing methods can REDUCE and MITIGATE the harmful impact of making millions upon millions of 5-10yr throw-away devices, instead of just doing "biz as usual." So, and I promise I'm getting to the end, let's recap: GP wants to avoid potentially millions of people getting poisoned by these things, but recognizes the fun and entertainment they provide, and so tells us to tell Sony et al. to use fewer toxic materials. Does the reaction, "F them the hippy bastards, they're trying to ruin all my fun!" really make any sense after considering the facts of the matter? If so, I hope you enjoy lead poisoning. So stop complaining that Greenpeace is so bad- they're really just trying to do good in this case, and attacking them because of your personal prejudices against such organizations when they're doing nothing to harm you in any way is inappropriate.

    PS (sorry4theLength, had to throw in some balance): I think the GP report, though well-meant, was rather flawed in some ways: typos, using unimportant figs of power consumption when that's not as vital as the toxins (though the figures are easier to compare and digest, making for a more readable story); also they provide little info as to what the specific toxins are & how we can tell companies not to use them; also, in the "video," they said BFR's & PVC are some of the them. I know electronics and quite a bit about chemistry too, but what's that? Turns out it means brominated flame retardant, used in many if not most consumer plastics to slow their rate of combustion (at what cost, though? Might the toxic BFR-smoke present more of a threat than the fire itself?). And PVC? Used in all sorts of drainpipes EVERYWHERE? THAT PVC? Attacking that is stupid. I mean, it would be nice if they used all biodegradable corn-plastics or some crap for the cases, but they're more expensive and most can't take the high temps generated in the boxes. Also it sucks for it to be in landfills but it's not the worst thing out there by far. We put PVC pipes in the ground all the time; what's the difference if they're put in the ground in a landfill? If PVC is really so bad then wouldn't it make more sense to go after the PLUMBING industry and make it use more enviro-friendly pipes, since it's probably the largest user and exposer-to-the-environment?(results would likely yield a proportionally larger enviro-benefit per dollar, and it'd be easier to convince Congress to ban PVC pipes than tiny, above-ground console cases using it. But still it'd be better if CE companies would just develop an alternative and not have to make more laws just for this)

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