Walmart urges developers to go green

Walmart urges developers to go green
Michael French

By Michael French

August 29th 2008 at 1:06PM

Games need to be built with energy-saving 'game suspension' function, says retail giant

Retailing giant Walmart is putting pressure on the games industry to start developing and manufacturing games with environmental issues in mind.

Reporting on their Check Out Blog, the buying team at the retailer said it recently held a 'green gaming summit' with the likes of Microsoft, Nintendo, Sony, Electronic Arts and Activision. Up for discussion were "packaging, power consumption and education".

According to the firm's Joe Muha, games buyer at its US chain Sam's Club, the retailer has suggested that developers should use their coding smarts to start "developing software and hardware that allows us to save the game so we do not have to leave it on would allow us to turn it off during a meal break or overnight without loosing our place. Additionally, some clever programming would allow the console to go into a lower power, standby mode when not in use."

Walmart said it also wanted to start "working with console manufacturers on coding and power usage design can reduce the power consumption when we use our devices for media playback".

The retailer also suggests publishers should switch to cardboard packaging instead of plastic boxes as that "would be like taking almost 4,000 cars off the road in terms of equivalent green house gas emissions"

Such thinking, however, was targeted more at next-gen hardware, added Muha: "Focusing on the next generation of consoles would allow the machines to be built from the ground up to use less power while providing an even better experience."

Added Muha: "There is no reason that we cannot make such a difference. We believe that games are an important and worthwhile part of our lives. They can enrich our experiences, allow us to relax and explore while challenging our skills mentally and in some cases physically. The goals of sustainability and the gaming experience are not mutually exclusive. Indeed, they should move forward on the same track."