Superfried – Walk the Talk
Buying a games console

Hello again, Mark here. This time it is an exciting one as I look into purchasing a new games console! As usual, I want to research my purchase options carefully and consider the eco credentials of each to minimise my environmental impact.

Superfried – Walk the Talk. Buying a games console. Considering purchases as part of my transition to reducing my environmental impact.
Superfried – Walk the Talk. Buying a games console. Considering purchases to reduce my environmental impact. 01.

The research

With the eldest about to start secondary school, my old Wii and PS3 were not going to be acceptable when his school friends came around. So it was time to invest in a new console, but I would be lying if I said I was not also excited. The obvious options were either a Switch or PS5. After talking to numerous parents the consensus was that the latter was the way to go, as many said their children had lost interest in the Switch. Another consideration was longevity. The PS5 is much more powerful and can play existing PS4 titles. The Switch is now seven years old with rumours of a new machine shortly. But despite this, the Switch has never been reduced in price.

What are their eco-crednentials?

Before proceeding further, I thought I would take a quick look at their approach to sustainability development. Both companies do discuss this and state they have taken active measures to reduce their carbon footprint. However, based on their respective websites, on first inspection it appears that Sony is taking climate change far more seriously via a series of measures throughout the product range and organisation as a whole. 

Which to choose?

The standard Switch is around £250. Conversely, a new PS5 disc edition is around £480. I had decided PS5 was the way to go, but they are expensive. Especially when you consider this deal may include no games and just one controller. Games cost around £60 and an additional controller would be around the same. So, with cost and environment health in mind, I hit ebay to find some better secondhand deals.

Reference links

Superfried – Walk the Talk. Buying a games console. Considering purchases to reduce my environmental impact. 02.
Superfried – Walk the Talk. Buying a games console. Considering purchases to reduce my environmental impact. 04.

Getting technical

When buying tech, it is so easy to buy the wrong model. Just because it is the latest release, does not guarantee it was the best of the range. Consequently, I always advise researching well and reading plenty of reviews as it is usually an expensive purchase so you want to get it right. I am also a fan of the phrase, buy nice or buy twice. Technology progresses quickly, so to maximise the longevity of your purchase, I would recommend buying the best quality your budget will allow rather than going cheap and requiring a replacement six months down the line.

As usual, once I started to delve a bit deeper I opened a can of worms. The first consideration is whether to buy a disk-based or digital-only version. The latter is cheaper, but without the benefit of a Blue Ray player, option to swap / buy second-hand games or easily play PS4 titles. For me, the disk version was a no-brainer.

There was talk of a new slim version being released the following month and details of 3 separate models that had been released to date. Starting with the imminent slim model – I immediately ditched this route since it may be delayed, would require buying new, and from what I had read, would not offer superior performance.

2020 – CFI-1000A-1018A

Original release.

2021 – CFI-1100-1118A

Slight heatsink and structural changes to reduce copper content.

2022 – CFI-1200A-1208A

This version was a completely new internal build. For the player, there would be no benefit. But the new internals are more efficient leading to a weight reduction and reduced power consumption.

As energy costs rise, in addition to my aim to reduce my carbon footprint the benefit of lower energy consumption was appealing. Also, based on my previous comment of buying the latest – assuming the performance was also optimal – I was leaning towards the 2022 model. After much reading, some said the later release was the way to go, whereas others said the original was over-engineered and consequently a safer option. There were also suggestions that the re-structure was simply to reduce component and shipping costs for Sony.
With knowledge on board, I decided not to focus too much on the model as this would simply add more variables to consider when purchasing.

Taking the plunge

In the lead-up to Christmas, there are currently a lot available. But be warned, some crazy deals are more expensive than a new machine off the high street. Standard rules apply for ebay – check the rating and ensure they have previously sold a high volume of products. I was looking for a console, two controllers, and some games. There were a lot of deals that included loads of games and appeared to be better value. However, this would only be true if they were the titles we would actually want to play.

After much deliberation, I found 2020 model that came in the original packaging, included two controllers, two great PS4 titles and two Spider-man games, one of which had only just been released. The price was £440. I reasoned that the latest Spider-man release would cost £50 new and a second controller £60 leading to a new purchase total of around £590! I decided to take the plunge.


The package arrived two days later. It had been re-packaged with all of the original boxing. Upon opening it was great to see minimal use of plastic – nice one Sony. The console, controller and games were spotless. The seller even pre-loaded the Spider-man titles for me. Best of all, the children loved it.

Buying any tech will always have environmental consequences. However, manufacturers can and should do better. They have an obligation to continually strive towards more sustainable processes. As a consumer, we have the same obligation – to seek the most eco friendly products and purchasing options. In doing so, in volume, our choices will encourage retailers to adopt a more ecological path or risk losing customers. It was encouraging to see some inclination by Sony and the use of cardboard packaging rather than polystyrene. But I was disappointed with Nintendo, their page on sustainability felt like a bit of a token effort, and stating they saved a ton of tech waste reaching landfill is a bit pathetic for a company of their scale.

If you know of new eco friendly products, I would love to hear about them, so drop me a message. If you are seeking brand strategy or design solutions for your business book a call to discuss how Superfried can help.