A new EU law will make USB C charging ports mandatory on gaming laptops, smartphones, and tablets, but the former won’t be enforced until 2027. The legislation aims to simply power interfaces across the technology scene, something that will reduce electronic waste and make buying accessories easier.
According to a European Parlament press release, the new gaming laptop law means “consumers will no longer need a different charging device and cable every time they purchase a new device.” The upcoming rules will apply to a multitude of devices, including tablets, wireless gaming headsets, and handhelds like the Steam Deck.
While all small and medium electronics will need to use common chargers by 2024, the gaming laptops have been given a 40 month grace period. This should give manufacturers time to adopt USB C 2.1, which comes packed with 240W power delivery capabilities. In other words, you won’t need a barrel plug to feed your portable powerhouse the juice it requires.
The EU claims that discarded chargers account for 11,000 tonnes of e-waste annually, so making USB C a standard should help prevent proprietary and obsolete chargers from heading to landfills. Consumers can save up to 250 million euros a year collectively by reusing old wires, money that could go towards an RTX 4000 laptop or gaming PC once they arrive.
USB C is already widely used, so the enforced laws will more or less tackle manufacturers who are lagging behind. It’ll also prevent upcoming devices from using proprietary connectors, ensuring things like the Oculus Quest 3 can be charged using a widely available cable.