Nintendo Wii, Xbox 360, PS3 vs Greenpeace

Master Chief, Mario and Kratos squaring up to 'big three'

Those determined environmentalist-types at Greenpeace have launched a new offensive against the major games console manufacturers. They say neither Microsoft, Nintendo or Sony are taking proper care of the environment and have set up a new website highlighting the key issues.

Greenpeace has enlisted the help of what it says are three iconic figures in gaming: Nintendo's Mario, Microsoft's Master Chief and Sony's Kratos (who?). They're the lead characters on the new 'Clash of the Consoles' website where gamers can urge console-makers to go green.

Game heroes look after planet

The Greenpeace boffins' main complaint is that Microsoft, Nintendo and Sony do not have games consoles "free of the worst toxic chemicals".

Game consoles have components common to PCs, in which levels of hazardous chemicals are being reduced. But Greenpeace says console manufacturers have so far failed to achieve any progress in cutting back on the same substances in their own products.

"They are lagging way behind the makers of mobile phones and PCs who have been reducing the toxic load of their products over the past year," said Zeina Al Hajj, a Greenpeace International toxics campaigner.

"Game consoles contain many of the same components as PCs so manufacturers can do a lot more," she said.


PC makers are already removing toxic chemicals in some applications without increasing prices to consumers. So Greenpeace says it shouldn't be too hard for the console builders to follow suit.

The 'Clash of the Consoles' site shows Nintendo as the worst offender. Each console is given a score in terms of the manufacturers' plans to reduce toxicity, current use of toxins and the recycling of old parts. Nintendo scored a big fat zero in each category.

Microsoft gets some credit for its toxic policy, but only Sony is credited as doing some serious work to recycle old and unwanted consoles.

The site gives readers the option to write to the console manufacturers to urge them to improve their environmental policies. Whether this will make any impact at all on the big three's plans remains to be seen.