The Carbon Footprint of Games Distribution

The Carbon Footprint of Games Distribution is an analysis of game distribution that draws the counterintuitive conclusion that in many cases, digital distribution requires more energy and creates more pollution that boxed games (thanks MCV). Here's a bit:
Contrary to findings in previous research on music distribution, distribution of games by physical BDs results in lower greenhouse gas emissions than by Internet download. The estimated carbon emissions from downloading only fall definitively below that of BDs for games smaller than 1.3 GB. Sensitivity analysis indicates that as average game file sizes increase, and the energy intensity of the Internet falls, the file size at which BDs would result in lower emissions than downloads could shift either up- or downward over the next few years. Overall, the results appear to be broadly applicable to title games within the European Union (EU), and for larger-than-average sized games in the United States. Further research would be needed to confirm whether similar findings would apply in future years with changes in game size and Internet efficiency.
View : : :
3.
 
Re: The Carbon Footprint of Games Distribution
Sep 3, 2014, 11:00
3.
Re: The Carbon Footprint of Games Distribution Sep 3, 2014, 11:00
Sep 3, 2014, 11:00
 
In this study, they are considering distribution only in the UK, and Sony has a mastering facility in Austria. This strikes me as pretty much as best-case scenario for physical distribution. The authors think the results for the U.S. would be similar, though they do say that the physical distribution costs could be triple based on the U.S.'s geographical size.

If I read this and some of the supporting documents correctly, I think the two takeaways are that faster speeds benefit everyone because energy consumption does not scale with speed. I.E., A 1Gb/s connection does not use 100 times as much energy as a 10Mb/s connection.

Second is that improving energy efficiency at the terminal locations will help. Does the PS3 really need to consume 93Wh when downloading? Are there energy savings to be found in modem/routers?

And as noted, some of these folks work/worked for Sony DADC (disc makers) at the time this study was conducted, so, yeah.
Date
Subject
Author
 3.
Sep 3, 2014Sep 3 2014
 Re: The Carbon Footprint of Games Distribution
14.
Sep 4, 2014Sep 4 2014