If you have ever wondered how clean your games console is and are a Sony PlayStation owner, you would be well advised to read on.
The top-selling console of the latest generation may have proved to be hugely popular with gamers across the world, but it also appears to have attracted people with questionable hygiene.
According to recent research conducted by the gaming experts at Betway Casino, the PlayStation lags behind the Xbox and Nintendo Switch in terms of cleanliness.
To highlight how much bacteria gathers on different parts of your devices, the boffins conducted an experiment to analyse 12 sets of randomly selected consoles and computers.
They compared the results against those found on a kitchen table and toilet seat, and the findings are enough to make your stomach turn.
The sample PlayStations analysed had 72.5 colony-forming bacteria units per swab taken, more than 2.4 times you would find on a toilet seat.
The worst parts for bacterial growth were the buttons and the joysticks, where the median number of colony-forming units was 190.
This was higher than the equivalent on any other platform and in the worst cases reached as high as 650 units – over double the number found on a kitchen surface.
In a head-to-head battle with the Xbox, the PlayStation came out on the wrong side of testing in two out of three key areas.
While the Xbox was found to have the dirtiest controller handles at 82.5 colony-forming units per swab, it performed much better in tests on the buttons, joysticks and triggers.
Microsoft’s console returned a figure of 62.5 colony-forming units per swab on the buttons and triggers, while the number on the triggers was the lowest across all platforms tested at only 15.
However, it did return some of the most individual dirty samples, with the worst console tested having 5,614 colony-forming units on the controller’s buttons.
The study showed that the Nintendo Switch offered the cleanest version of gaming with a median of only 55 colony-forming units per swab.
While this is double what you would find on a toilet seat, it was still one of the lowest numbers throughout all platforms tested.
The testing highlighted that even for the cleanest gaming devices, there was still a large build-up of bacteria across the board.
Only Xbox controller triggers had a lower number of colony-forming units than a toilet seat, meaning that every other element needed a serious amount of cleaning.
On the plus side, most of the bacteria found are generally harmless, providing they are not allowed to accumulate in sufficient quantities.
With that in mind, the people behind the study advise gamers to include their devices as part of a weekly household cleaning regime.
Plastic-friendly cleaning solutions and a damp cloth are ideal for peripheral items, while microfibre cloths should be used on the console itself.
With people becoming increasingly aware of the need to eradicate germs and viruses around their home, this study may be concerning.
However, just a few minutes cleaning each week can make a massive difference and will also serve to keep your gaming consoles in tip-top condition.