Playing for the Planet

Next-generation consoles will ‘go green’ as PlayStation, Xbox, Stadia, and more partner with the United Nations to tackle climate change.

The climate change initiative has gained support from 21 companies that have joined the UN’s new Playing For The Planet Alliance. Each platform has formally pledged to raise awareness of climate change and proactively work to reduce pollution.

Microsoft and Sony have promised to help save the planet with plans for carbon-neutral Xbox units and a low-power suspension mode for the PlayStation 5.

The UN Environment website contains a record of all promises the companies have pledged. Within the exhaustive list is the pledge from Sony indicating that the next-generation PlayStation console will have a low-power suspend mode.

In a recent PlayStation Blog post, President and CEO Jim Ryan confirmed the mode will consume less power than the PS4’s, stating: “If just one million users enable this feature, it would save equivalent to the average electricity use of 1,000 US homes.”

Microsoft has revealed a new manufacturing project that aims to reduce supply chain emissions by 30% by 2030. Additionally, the platform holder  will certify that 825,000 Xbox consoles are carbon neutral as part of a pilot program.

The Google Stadia team will also aim to produce a guide for sustainable game development. The company has promised to fund research into implementing ‘green nudges’ into gameplay.

The companies on board so far are Sony Interactive Entertainment, Microsoft, Google Stadia, Ubisoft, Sports Interactive, Twitch, Niantic, Supercell, Playmob, Rovio, Sybo, Space Ape, Wild Works, Green Man Gaming, Creative Mobile, Reliance Games, iDreamSky, E-Line Media, Strange Loop, Pixelberry, and Internet of Elephants.

The UN has partnered with these companies because it estimates they have a combined audience of 970 million players. Furthermore, the planned initiatives from the Climate Action Summit will reduce CO2 emissions by 30 million tonnes by 2030.

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Steve Carman
Steve's two passions are journalism and gaming, and he enjoys playing Indies, RPG, and Action/Adventure games on PC and consoles. He can also often be found sharing his views on the industry @stevecgames.

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