PlayStation 5 Includes Optional Power Saving Feature to Fight Climate Change
It's no big secret at this point that Sony is well underway working on their next-generation console: The PlayStation 5. Not much can be said about the hardware at this point, as the whole process has been kept fairly under wraps and behind closed doors. Still, every glimpse we can get helps, and the latest bit of news sheds some light on ways Sony intends to take on power usage when it comes to gaming. In a recent post on the PlayStation Blog, Sony President and CEO Jim Ryan reveals that the PlayStation 5 will feature an optional power-saving mode that can be used to drastically reduce expended energy in rest mode, something the PS4 can be put into in order to automatically download updates and applications. To do this, Sony has joined forces with the United Nations as a part of their "Playing for the Planet" initiative, a plan meant to combat the growing problem of climate change.
When it comes to gaming in the context of climate change, the hobby tends to leave a massive carbon footprint. No one console space is more guilty or more innocent of it either; it's simply a problem caused by the hardware itself. Sony is keenly aware of it and has been for a while, choosing to implement a variety of power-saving options on the PlayStation 4 later into its lifespan. Adjustments have been made to the PS4's power usage in little updates here and there as well. With the PS5, Sony plans to up their game a lot farther with the more advanced hardware. "The next-generation PlayStation console will include the possibility to suspend gameplay with much lower power consumption than PS4 (which we estimate can be achieved at around 0.5 W)," Ryan states. "If just one million users enable this feature, it would save equivalent to the average electricity use of 1,000 US homes."
For context, the PlayStation 4 has sold around a whopping total of 100 million units worldwide to date. Since this new power-saving feature is entirely optional, PS5 owners will need to manually go into the settings and activate it themselves. The hope is that the new console sells as well as the PS4 did; getting just one million users to take the initiative should be plenty doable, and the more the merrier, as it all contributes towards a good cause. "The gaming community is diverse and growing at a fast pace," Ryan concludes in the post. "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." While the news is centered around one sole feature, this makes for the closest look we've gotten at the PS5 yet and marks a change for the future towards a more environmental-friendly games industry. Whether Microsoft and Nintendo follow suit remains to be seen, but every bit helps.
Speaking of which, both Microsoft and Nintendo have been busy with their own consoles as of late. While Nintendo is sitting pretty on the ever-popular Nintendo Switch, they just recently released the new model (the Switch Lite) to stores worldwide, offering a handheld-exclusive alternative to the Switch family. Microsoft, meanwhile, is hard at work on the next generation of Xbox consoles. The company was eager to get ahead of the proceedings, announcing Project Scarlett (working title) at their E3 2019 press conference. A lot of Scarlett's more technical hardware specifications were revealed at this time, and the console is currently planned for a Holiday 2020 launch. With all the news surrounding the PS5 lately, it feels like only a matter of time for Sony to do a more official reveal of their plans. Here soon, they also plan to hold another Nintendo-Direct-styled State of Play presentation on September 24th. Make sure to tune in for all the latest on PlayStation, including news about The Last of Us: Part 2. Interested in the full details behind the PS5's power saving? Head to the blog!