Console Carbon Footprint Reveals Super Mario’s Substantial Carbon Footprint With Nintendo Consoles The Most Environmentally Friendly | The Fan Carpet

Console Carbon Footprint Reveals Super Mario’s Substantial Carbon Footprint With Nintendo Consoles The Most Environmentally Friendly


17 February 2020

The CO2 produced by playing best-selling games Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Mario Odyssey exceeds 475 tonnes.

Console Carbon Footprint reveals the environmental impact of physical game discs compared to digital downloads across various consoles.

Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was the most polluting Mario game released last year, while Pokemon: Let’s Go Pikachu! was the most polluting Nintendo title.

Nintendo consoles are the most environmentally friendly to run on average, while the PS3 original is the most polluting platform to date.

Popular games titles Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate and Super Mario Odyssey had a combined carbon footprint of 475,049kg last year, new research reveals.

Console Carbon Footprint reveals the total carbon footprint of top-selling titles and consoles over the last year, and found that Nintendo consoles are the most environmentally friendly to run on average, based on average power consumption.

Total sales of the popular Super Mario titles equalled 5,785,529 units in 2019, 83% of which were digital. According to the study, digitally downloading a game results in 0.017kg of CO2, while creating a physical copy emits more than 20 times that at 0.39kg.

This means that Super Mario racked up an impressive 475 tonnes of CO2 from physical unit sales and digital downloads last year, from those three game titles alone.

The actual carbon footprint of Mario is much higher when the energy consumption of consoles are taken into account, with the Console Carbon study revealing that the average CO2 produced across all consoles is 0.025kg per hour.

Super Mario CO2 footprint based on average completion time

Title Console Completion Time (h.m) kgCO2 per hour (all consoles) kgCO2 to complete
Mario Kart Deluxe Nintendo Switch 5.87 0.02 0.15
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Nintendo Switch 22.77 0.09 0.57
Super Mario Odyssey Nintendo Switch 13.17 0.05 0.33

With over 164 million adults in the US playing video games and players spending an average of 7.1 hours (seven hours, seven minutes) on games consoles, video game CO2 emissions could reach a staggering 29 million kg, or 29,110 tonnes each week.

The research also reveals that the most polluting consoles released to date are the PS3 original with a carbon footprint of 0.054kg per hour, followed by the Xbox 360 with 0.051kg, and the Xbox One X with 0.035kg of CO2 released every hour.

Looking at the 1.5 million physical units sold of the most popular game in 2019 - FIFA 20 - reveals that 595,395kg of CO2 was produced as a result of manufacturing the 102,000kg of plastic required for the boxed cases and coated discs.

With 21 gaming companies - including Sony - having pledged to reduce their collective CO2 footprint by more than 30 million tonnes by 2030, it’s crucial that major console companies continue to prioritise sustainable power usage and quick download times moving forward.

To read more about the environmental impacts of digital downloads and plastic production in Console Carbon Footprint, visit online.

Research gathered from a range of sources, including the energy use calculator, Forbes, PlayStation, Xbox and National Geographic.

Digital download figures calculated based on 83% of all video game sales being digital in 2018.

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