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PS4 and Xbox One to cost billions in energy

3 min read

He man power

No one listens to energy warnings, right? I mean, Eskom just turns off power around here when they feel like it, but it doesn’t really have anything to do with consumption, does it? I really want one of those meters to tell me how much electricity I’m using in real time, but I’d also hate to see how my gamer household grabs power faster than Putin – and apparently the consoles aren’t helping things.

According to research conducted by the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Xbox One consumes a ridiculous amount of power in standby mode, as does the PS4.

NRDC’s extensive testing and analysis shows the new Microsoft Xbox One is the biggest energy user of the three most popular consoles, largely due to its voice command feature in standby mode, followed by the Sony PlayStation 4 with its inefficient controller charging. Although these consoles have incorporated important energy-saving features, in large part at NRDC’s urging, their expanded capabilities result in annual electricity consumption two to three times higher than the most recent models of their predecessors. In comparison, the Nintendo Wii U is an energy sipper.

Power consumption

Okay, I get that having the ability to say “Xbox On” costs loads of power, but c’mon PS4 – your controller really is bad with grabbing and holding charge. I blame that useless awesome light bar – there must be a better way to power that thing. According to the NRDC, the PS4 and Xbox One use 30 to 45 times more power to stream a movie than dedicated media players like Apple TV. The Xbox One is so ridiculous in its energy consumption, if all US Xbox One owners use their consoles to watch TV (one of its primary purposes), it would add $300 million in annual energy bills. In fact, the NRDC explains that the new generation consoles use more power in standby mode and when showing videos than they do when playing games. That makes no sense – surely games make use of the processing power that being in standby doesn’t.

I wonder if the Kinect-less Xbox One will be more economical on the power. I know new devices use up more power – just look at how quickly smart phones die compared to our old-school brick phones – but it certainly does drive up the cost of gaming. Not only are the consoles and games themselves expensive, actually using the technology might cause your monthly expenses to rise. I suppose it’s a good thing that I still use the PS3 as my media server – perhaps I should switch to using the Wii U if I really want to save.

Last Updated: May 19, 2014

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