History of the Voluntary Agreement

Find out more about the genesis of the Games Consoles Voluntary Agreement and its most significant milestones.

  • 2023

    The Games Consoles UK Voluntary Agreement v1.1, including minor technical amendments, was presented and adopted at the UK Steering Committee in January.

  • 2022

    The Games Consoles Voluntary Agreement v4.1, including minor technical amendments, was presented and adopted at the EU Steering Committee in December.

  • 2021

    The Games Consoles Voluntary Agreement v4.0, which includes revisions in response to stakeholder feedback from the post-2020 Consultation Forum, was adopted and presented at the June Steering Committee.

    The Games Consoles UK Voluntary Agreement v1.0 was presented and adopted at the November UK Steering Committee, which resulted in the official recognition by the UK Government.

  • 2020

    As part of their commitments under the GCVA, the Signatories performed the 3rd review of the VA, in view of
    the launch announcement of new generation consoles by 2 manufacturers. The Games Consoles Voluntary Agreement v3.9.4 was presented at the December Consultation Forum.

  • 2019

    As part of their commitments under the GCVA, the Signatories performed the 2nd review of the VA, in parallel with the “Videogame Consoles Review Study” conducted by the independent consultants of the European Commission. The Games Consoles Voluntary Agreement v2.7 was presented at the December Consultation Forum.

  • 2018

    The Games Consoles Voluntary Agreement v2.6 was presented at the Steering Committee in June. Minor edits
    were approved at the Steering Committee meeting in November which resulted in the adoption of version 2.6.3.

  • 2017

    A technical review procedure of the Voluntary Agreement took place in order to evaluate the effectiveness of
    the VA in achieving its energy efficiency objectives, evaluate current and future developments that may
    influence games consoles power consumption and set future targets, as appropriate, to increase games
    consoles energy efficiency. Moreover, the VA was aligned to the final Commission guidelines for
    self-regulation measures. The Games Consoles Voluntary Agreement v2.5 was presented at the November
    Consultation Forum meeting.

  • 2016

    Games consoles manufacturers began implementing the product reporting requirements of the Voluntary
    Agreement. Minor, clarifying amendments (e.g. grammatical and formating mistakes, clarification of some data
    collection procedures) were made to the VA in response to comments received at the June Steering
    Committee meeting from stakeholders and the Independent Inspector. Therefore, a revised version of the
    Games Consoles Voluntary Agreement was approved by the Commission.

  • 2015

    On April 22, the Commission formally approved the Games Consoles Voluntary Agreement v1.0. The
    Commission’s decision confirmed that the VA would achieve the policy objectives set out by the EU's
    Eco-design Directive more quickly and cost-effectively than mandatory requirements. The first Steering
    Committee meeting was held in Brussels in December.

  • 2014

    Games consoles manufacturers amended the Voluntary Agreement to take into account the Commission's
    revised draft guidelines on self-regulation measures and to address comments received during the
    Consultation Forum meeting and subsequent comments from the Commission.

  • 2013

    A manufacturer from the games consoles industry completed its own comprehensive analytical study on the
    potential energy savings the Voluntary Agreement would secure. The study’s conclusions highlighted that the
    VA had the potential to save up to 1 TWh per year by 2020. While recognising that the energy savings were in
    line with the Eco-design Directive’s aims, the Commission requested the industry to add further
    commitments on material efficiency and the draft VA was revised to include these commitments. The draft VA
    was subject to internal review by the Commission's Impact Assessment Board, which issued a favourable
    opinion in March.

  • 2012

    The first draft of the Voluntary Agreement was tabled for review and discussion during a Commission
    Consultation Forum meeting in November, which included representatives from the Commission, Member
    States, and Non-governmental organisations.

  • 2010

    The Commission’s preparatory study included a Voluntary Agreement (VA) as a possible policy option and the
    Commission agreed to consider this approach provided it could meet the ambitions of the Eco-design
    Directive. Following consultations with stakeholders and policy makers, the games consoles industry
    commenced work on formulating the VA and preparing it for Commission review.

  • 2009

    As part of the EU's Eco-design regulatory process (under EU Directive 2009/125/EC), the European
    Commission commenced a review of the potential for improving the energy efficiency of games consoles and
    initiated a preparatory study (ENTR Lot 3: Sound and Imaging Equipment) to investigate the energy efficiency
    of games consoles, alongside other sound and imaging devices.