Your New Game Console Is Eating More Energy Than Ever

Your New Game Console Is Eating More Energy Than Ever

Even if you're not actively using your consoles, they're still using electricity -- and the amount of energy consoles consume has increased from last generation consoles.

The Natural Resources Defense Council finds that on a yearly basis, new consoles cost America $US1 billion in electricity bills -- and that most of that energy is consumed when the consoles are in standby mode.

The graph above gives a good sense of how much energy new consoles consume versus last gen consoles, with the Wii U being the least demanding console out of all three. Both the Xbox One and PS4 consume two to three times more energy than the 360 and PS3, however. Yikes! Have you guys noticed this being reflected in your energy bills?

You can read the Natural Resources Defense Council's entire report on this subject here, if you're curious.

[via Vice]


    Are these numbers comparing the most recent PS3/360 models or the ones at launch? I don't know about the PS3 but the launch 360's power brick delivered around 200W max.

    Also, how much do they draw in standby? Both the new consoles are built to be able to do a lot of stuff in standby that you would previously have to have started the system up to do.

    I doubt anyone uses their systems so much that they'd see it actually being reflected in their power bills either way.

      Well, especially not compared to an equivalent PC I would imagine. It could have been worse. It's been my opinion this gen that both consoles have been quite conservative in terms of heat and power.

      The article is about power consumed on standby over the course of a year. Note the scale - kWh/year.

      So that 181 kWh = 181000 watts over a year, or 495 watts-hours per day, or a rate of about 20.7 watts - while turned off. The Xbox One uses about 26.6 watts while turned off (using the 233 kWh number). The extra can probably be put down to the Kinect and attempts to monitor it.

      If 1kHw costs you 20c or thereabouts, 181 kWh/year will be adding about $9 to your electricity bill each quarter. It's not a huge amount, but it adds up. Over a console's 5 year life span that will come to $181 - that that 20c figure is conservatively low.

      There are power boards that you can get which will detect when an outlet is on standby and turn it off. They're probably your best bet if you want to save money in the long term.

        That makes more sense then. And it's completely as expected since the systems are built to still do stuff when in standby.

        EDIT: I bet they use less power at full load though, so perhaps it evens itself out.

        Last edited 17/05/14 3:54 pm

        20c a kilowatt hour, I wish it was that cheap...

    We're not even going to discuss how Nintendo made a conscious effort to be considerate of energy consumption when designing the Wii U and the results show (I mean it uses less power than the console that came before it, come on, that's fucking impressive), where the PS4 and XBone were designed with no consideration for energy consumption? No, we're just going to mention the Wii U in one sentence? I'm sick of Nintendo and the Wii U being shoved into a corner whenever "Current Gen" comparisons are made. It's lucky to even get mentioned.

      The reason the wiiu uses the least power is because it basically is last generation of xbox/ps console. if sony and microsoft had just recreated their old consoles from the ground up im sure they would use a hell of a lot less power too.

      I agree, Nintendo deserves a tonne of credit for turning out hardware that for lack of a better phrase, lives within its means.

      Wii U is using a current-gen and more refined version of a similar chip that the Wii used. PS4/Xbone is using a brand new custom chip (and Kinect peripheral) made by AMD which has terrible energy efficiency. Also, the power envelope that these consoles are targeting is totally out of the ballpark of Wii U.

      Apples to oranges.

    PS4 181kw/h based on how many hours a day usage..? I probably use my PS4 about twice a month atm, so I would love to know.

    My TV consumes 200kw a year based on 10 hours a day usage, it's maybe on average gets 2 hours of use a day.

    Plus I bought one of these for behind my TV, so I can turn everything off with ease, so when the TV isn't on it isn't consuming power in standby mode etc..

      When it's off in standby mode. As in one year without even being turned on.

    probably cos they are high end pc hardware based

      no - they're mid end at best. Really this inefficiency is pretty poor on MS and Sony's behalf.

        Inefficency? No.

        Actually it's not that bad. The average PC consumes around 200watts while turned on, that's about 300kwh per year, and for a high-end PC with massive cyclonic fans you'd be looking at more than twice the PS4 and Xbox One. So on a hardware to power consumption ratio, they've done a really great job.

          PC's use very little power when turned off.

          yeah, it is pretty bad

        arent the videocards on both quite good compared to pc versions?
        as good as or better due to their console-specialised nature?

      rofl... best post ever...

      thanks for the laugh... "high end"... hahahaha... love it!

    Well my PS4 is getting bugger-all usage whilst waiting for games to come out so mine's already super energy efficient

      As I said above this is when it's in standby mode so unless you unplugged it your chewing power.

        I've got an energy board that shuts everything off from standby when I'm not using it

        Last edited 17/05/14 7:49 pm

    I guess the amd chip doesn't have energy efficiency as it's forte.

    Like @linepaper, and some others, I have an energy board that shuts everything off when in standby (except for my receiver, which controls everything. Which makes me wonder, an Xbox One, supposedly an "always-on" device, not really work with this energy board? What is the benefit of it staying in standby when not using it? I don't think it has DVR capabilities, so is there any point?

      When you turn it on, you don't have to wait for that 1gb update to download and install, it's already there.

      The benefit is also that the capacitors don't get discharged/charged on such a regular basis. What they don't tell you with these 'energy saving devices' is that you're effectively slowly killing every device connected to it. Which results in early death. Which results in new product purchase. Which results in .... net loss of 'energy'.

    My PS4, WiiU and Ps3 use f-all power when I'm not playing - because along with the TV and everything else, power is switched off at the wall when not in use. The only time I leave the PS4 or PS3 on is if I'm downloading.

    Last edited 18/05/14 10:40 am

    My Xbox One also turns on quicker than ever, with updates already installed. So I'm fine with this :p

    I wonder if this is 'at load' usage. PS4 doesn't have proper standby mode enabled yet, I think Xbone needs update too?

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