PS4, Xbox One are energy hogs, add up to “several power plants of electricity,” new report finds

The ability to turn your Xbox One on with a voice command consumes more energy than you might think.

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One consume much more energy than the previous generation of consoles, a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council finds.

"We don't have a problem with people playing games. But the problem is the amount of energy used when not playing a game," NRDC's director of high-tech energy efficiency and author of the report Pierre Delforge told USA Today.

The report explains that while all consoles have incorporated many energy efficiency features into their designs (like automatic power-down) since the last report in 2008, the increase in energy consumption comes from new features that rely on their standby or sleep modes. For example, the Xbox One uses 15 watts of continuous power in standby so you can turn it on with a voice command. A PC, by comparison, uses less than two watts when it’s in sleep mode.

The NRDC projects that if all the previous-generation consoles are replaced with the Xbox One, PS4, and Wii U, they will use roughly 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, or the equivalent to the output of four large power plants.

Of the three, the Wii U is the only console to reduce its energy consumption from the last generation, down 8 percent despite offering more powerful hardware. It uses less than one watt in standby mode.

You can find the full report on NRDC’s website.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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1156 comments
matty1053
matty1053

What?  

I measured my Watts on my Xbox One and PS4 earlier....


The Xbone is generally efficient.  (I have a powerstrip that measures realtime current.)

Playing BF4:

Minimum Watts; 145.  Max Watts: 240w.

Standby: Min: 15w.  Max: 45w. (NO KINECT)

Standby w/ Kinect: Min: 35w, Max: 80w.

On Dashboard: Min 25w, Max: 100w.

With 720p HDMI Setting: (On Dashboard), Min: 25w, Max: 120w.

With 1080p HDMI Setting: (on dash), Min: 50w, Max: 150w.


Guess The HDMI really affects wattage! o.o


On PS4...

Playing BF4: 

Min: 135w. Max: 240w. (I noticed the higher wattage on Op Metro, DT DLC maps.  Since it's 64p in a small radius and tons of firerights and such!)

Standby: I tested Charging Controller and with out... the chart is pretty accurate.  The PS4 is efficient at charging the controller.  

On 'dashboard'/XMB Menu: Min: 15w, Max: 90w.

With 720p Setting (on menu): min: 25, Max: 100w

With 1080p Setting: Min: 50, Max: 120w.


But, both consoles are energy efficient compared to my TV's and my PC.... XD


Plus, they are almost NOTHING to my electicity bill.

Apperently my house uses 2.5 gigawatts of power every month.  (2,500,000w of power a month average during summer)  


I have to say both run very great and enjoyable.  But, NEVER run your PS4 through Xbones 'hdmi in' port.  Lol, you will use about 400w of power.  



mememine69
mememine69

What news editors never mention;

*Most of Canada and the USA hasn’t had a SMOG warning day (actual smog) in close to 10 years now. NOTE: “Be kind to the air days” and smog “alerts” and “advisories” and “watches” are not measurements of smog, just predictions that a “Smog Warning” could be issued within the next 36 hours.

*Science has a 32 year old 96.7% consensus that they are 95% certain that climate change “could be” a crisis so what’s to “believe” in? They are 100% sure the planet is not flat however.

*Polar Bears were indigenous to as far south as Minnesota upon settlement but called the Yellow Bear because it retained its summer coat longer but still the same bear.

*Occupywallstreet now does not mention CO2 in its list of demands obviously because of the

bank-funded and corporate run carbon trading stock markets ruled by politicians.

*Canada ended Y2Kyoto with a freely elected climate change denying prime minister.

gottago42
gottago42

The PS4 consumes the most power, that little sucka is a power hog

Hydrafiend
Hydrafiend

I think this article exhibited racism, sexism, and homophobia, and only served to reinforce common stereotypes!

DreamsofGreen
DreamsofGreen

All hail the all mighty and technically superior design that is the Wii U!

devak108
devak108

I always keep my whole entertainment system on a power strip and turn it off each day when I leave for work and at night when I go to sleep.  No standby mode for me :)

lhardwick692
lhardwick692

isn't it funny hat xbox one is in the eyes of others more powerful but yet the ps4 uses more power-- but the thing is this you cant tell me the ps4 uses more power when I am sure the Kinect--no matter how minimal  energy it uses should put the xbox one using more power--


how does the ps4 use more power to stream shit from Netflix--it doesn't use the system for most part it uses the internet modem inside it and video card to put the video onto screen  rest isn't really used but is using little bit power--


if sony ps4 were to cure cancer these people would still bitch because its sony-- the wii u doesn't use much power because its hardly ever on I know mine isn't--it just sits here waiting for something good to come along that isn't Mario Zelda or more Mario


as for me my systems are off completely until I want to turn them on to play--standby mode isn't really needed--voice commands is really stupid when I can grab my remote push few buttons and my tv does what I want it to do---but this amount is nationwide for all owners of the systems--so 1000 systems at 50 cents a day week or whatever equals15 bucks a months to 6 bucks a year blah blah blah--how much energy did it take for them to write this article and post on this site--they don't think about that--which causes us to read it for curiousity purposes using more power which to me is wasted when I could have been playing a game using the power used more deserving

00J
00J

OMG. Are you serious? They lose the war on violent games now playing games in general is a drain on the national power supply. Get fing real! LOL They just don't quit. 

News flash, when i step on the accelerator in my car, it consumes power... Which i replenish with my money, that i earn from working. We pay for our power, so this is a non-zero-sum issue...

deadkingdg
deadkingdg

One thing not considered by this is the upcoming "slim" models. We all know it will come eventually. I don't have any numbers, so I'm speaking of pure suppositions, but I'm pretty sure there is more PS3 slim right now than the fat version. The same will happen with next gen. Most people will not go to that current version, but to an upcoming, cheaper (and less energy hungry) version.

SingletreeAve
SingletreeAve

Natural Resources Defense Council is an ominous sounding name.  What's their agenda (both advertised and actual)?

golden1elite
golden1elite

I could see that the XBOX One uses up more power than the other systems.  While at work today I purchased a demo for my XBOX one through Microsoft store.  My Xbox at home recognized the purchase and automatically started downloading the software and installing it while it is turned off.  Wicked feature!  I don't have to go home turn on my xbox and then wait :-D.

CFritzRun
CFritzRun

"The NRDC projects that if all the previous-generation consoles are replaced with the Xbox One, PS4, and Wii U, they will use roughly 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity a year..."

What is the point of that statement?  For starters, that won't happen for an extremely long time.  Furthermore, by the time it does happen, there will be more energy efficient versions of the current generation just like there was with many past generations.  Also, kudos to Nintendo for their first selling point for the WiiU.

plasmatic5
plasmatic5

More power requires more power. What a surprise.

horizonwriter
horizonwriter

And people were expecting more powerful consoles to consume less energy?

liquidbutter
liquidbutter

I would think they'd be more concerned with cryptocurrency miners in terms of power usage. Bitcoin miners and the like, who have their powerful PCs sitting at 100% load 24/7.

numtalmbout
numtalmbout

ate you serious? ?? I hope not. what about all the wind arms that simply need to b re visited and updated... lots are just abandoned as it is

liquidbutter
liquidbutter

America needs more wind farms! If only the Koch brothers would stop trying so desperately to prevent them from being made. Even conservatives want them. The governor of Kansas, who is so conservative he's been trying to eliminate ALL taxes, says its time to invest in wind energy!

bubba_1988
bubba_1988

Can't believe there are people who still believe man made climate change is a myth. SMH.

00J
00J

@TashunkoSapa Actually if I may correct you, the study says it's the Kinect that's killing the planet IN STANDBY MODE XD, and thankfully Microsoft is doing away with it... 

00J
00J

@devak108 we agree on something i do the same thing for various reasons! 


1. Fire hazard.

2. ThunderStorms with lightning that could damage expensive equipment.

3. Random Blackouts that could surge up power again damaging equipment.

4. Running an expensive gaming system when not in use, I've always thought you get more life out of them by turning them off.

5. It's a waste of energy... ;)



matty1053
matty1053

@00J Have Natural Gas Dryer, Natural Gas Stove....

LED Tv's, you will be good.



awarbrick89
awarbrick89

@00J I think you missed the point of the article, they were pointing out how much energy is wasted just to keep our consoles in an 'Active-Standby' mode.

It had nothing to do with dollars and cents. 

It was about the waste, cause we do have limited resources on this planet, it sure would suck a few years from now to have to devote what was it? 4 large power plants just to keep those devices in standby? Thats just stupidly wasteful, surely Sony or Microsoft can make more efficient standby modes.

00J
00J

@SingletreeAve ulterior motive, i agree... I'd be more scared of electric cars draining the power grid than a game system... 

00J
00J

@golden1elite then you didn't understand the chart, because the PS4 uses the most energy... lol

golden1elite
golden1elite

As an electronics engineer, the power difference is very small, not enough to see this amount of energy difference.  What would cause this difference is heat transfer.  It is common knowledge that the cooling ability of the PS4 is limited due to the tighter space constrictions, as well as smaller cooling fans and having the power  bar integrated into the system.  The hotter the components get the more energy is needed to perform the same tasks.  That is why during netflix operation where the PS4s xtra GPU power is not needed at all, you still see the power usage difference.

chippiez
chippiez

@horizonwriter yes.  As dies shrink, a cpu can execute more instructions per clock.  Problem is, they used sh1t AMD kit.  Intel 22nm process would've allowed them to operate at 85 w

00J
00J

@liquidbutter haha you're missing the point... read at top of topic... 

noladem504
noladem504

@liquidbutter Koch brothers....really? I didnt realize that people actually fell for that. Rich people telling me 'other' rich people are the bad guys...real convincing.  

chippiez
chippiez

@liquidbutter Or invest in Nuclear and have all the fuel you'll ever need.  Dispose of the waste via the sun.  Build new, modern plants with more safety features.  All problems solved.

noladem504
noladem504

@bubba_1988 you cant believe it? Funny because nearly every poll out there shows the VAST majorty of people have realized its another tax increase scam. You climate nut jobs are the minority. 

chippiez
chippiez

@bubba_1988 I can't believe there are people who don't think the earth has witnessed rapid shifts between hot and cold in it's 4 bln year history.

noladem504
noladem504

@awarbrick89 @00J actually the article only mentioned the standby mode in one line .....and its only 15 watts! A regular light bulb uses 100watts. The article was overall about the current gen consoles using considerably more energy overall than last gen...what article were you reading?

00J
00J

@awarbrick89 @00J Heh, the first statement mentioned is "we don't have a problem with people playing games" just the energy used to power the games... lol 

Stating that is a way of saying we aren't trying to bash the gaming market but yeah...

00J
00J

@awarbrick89 @00J I saw the point they were making to validate their whole attention grabbing article, but you have to read between the lines, it is a way to keep gaming in the spotlight for people "congressional or anti-gaming consorts" to keep putting gaming in a bad light... 



awarbrick89
awarbrick89

@00J @golden1elite Wow, apparently you missed the point again, Golden1 was obviously referring to how much power is used in standby...

I mean, he JUST said the part about it turning on automatically to download, etc, etc 

lightwizard8
lightwizard8

@golden1elite For aspiring computer engineers/scientists, I wanted to clear this up.

To a small extent, heat can increase power usage because transistors get less efficient. But the huge bulk of the increases in compute power and electrical power come from the substantially larger number of transistors in the new consoles. Netflix and navigation use 40-50 W less than during gaming, which is a lot, and it's essentially because they're not making as many calculations. More parts can therefore go into a low-power semi-standby state since they're not being used.

lightwizard8
lightwizard8

@chippiez @horizonwriter It's correlation, not causation that increases instructions per clock as dies shrink. And more instructions per clock doesn't necessarily mean less energy if each clock takes a lot more energy to complete. That in fact is one reason the old Pentium 4s were so power hungry.

Die shrinks over the life of the previous gen of consoles improved their energy consumption. But if you want to drastically increase compute power, you need more transistors, which means a bigger die, which means we're back to using more power. I'll ignore the AMD/Intel flamebait and probably made-up "85 W" number.

The article is really talking about standby usage though. Think about how little power your phone needs to do speech-to-text, and you'll start to see why this group thinks using orders of magnitude more power is a tad bit ridiculous.

MacRayZ
MacRayZ

@chippiez I can believe that someone that ignores what the vast majority of scientists are saying would not know that "it's" is a contraction of it is while "its" signifies possession. It's its 4 bln year history chippiez.

00J
00J

Two people looking through the same monocular. I'm not as narrow minded to see that it is a study that really doesn't do the gaming industry any favors.

I don't leave my system on standby, and I'm sure I'm not the only one I turn my systems completely off or unplug them when not in use. The study is based on technical specs and not real world numbers which isn't a fair assessment. We all don't own these systems and if ownership reached those numbers every user would have to keep their system In the same operating state.

Not to mention one target the Xbox one will no longer need that crappy kinect attached or In the house for Xbox to function being sold sans shinect, one main point of his study has been broken already.

Some one said that game consoles are not immune from criticism, yeah and neither are studies...

devak108
devak108

@00J @awarbrick89 It's interesting that several people have pointed out that you are missing the point of the article, yet you just keep spouting the same paranoid nonsense. It's not about the power used to play games, it's about the power being used when consoles ARE ON STANDBY.   -____-

00J
00J

@OldDirtyCR haha, and it is an attack on Gaming come on... You don't actually think that the NDRC doesn't sit back and consider gaming arbitrary an arbitrary use of energy resources... Gaming is always the default problem of a problem... 


Oh and Microsoft fixed that by offering a Kinect-less Xbox in June, so he might need to revise his study... 

00J
00J

@OldDirtyCR Your opinion.


Actually point one. I've thought the Kinect was a bad thing from the very beginning, which is Microsofts own fault [kinect is the voice controller.]  Not that this is going to get any attention, but if it did, Microsoft might have something to say about it, since it involves their product and they are a contributor to energy consumption... 


The point of this article didn't go over my head, GameSpot posted this as yet another gaming related issue, and not a "positive one."


I'm just interested in the focus on game consoles, it's not a coincidence sense gaming has been in the spotlight more than once for unfavorable mention.


Surely the NRDC exists to go after higher energy draining culprits than game consoles which use a little over a light bulb and a half [ if you consider energy efficient lighting ] and considering there is probably either 1 xbox one or 1 ps4 in a home, and not EVERY home at that, versus a light in every room, if not more...


I just feel fondly about gaming and defend it.


There are hundreds of different arguments about power supply and demand. 


It's not about saving the consumer money? It's always about give and take... If you use less power there is less use of that power and offshoot is that we pay less for power because there is more of it... ???

OldDirtyCR
OldDirtyCR

@00J @awarbrick89 You are paranoid 00j. This guy's job is literally to analyze and deal with high tech energy efficiency. He's done just that and nothing more. You act like every worker in the government is secretly looped into this agenda of bashing (violent) video games. I'm sure his first day of job training was spent brainwashing him about video games.

Video game hardware is not immune to criticism. You're delusional if you think it should be. He brings up a great point; is being able to turn on your xbox with voice command worth 15 constant watts? Especially considering this is a feature that only a small minority take advantage of or even want. Thus this is wasteful and falls into his realm of researching energy efficiency of high tech devices.


There are tons of politicians and government agencies that deserve your disdain, but he is not one of them. It's a noble goal to strive for higher efficiency as we go into a high tech future. It's stupid to waste energy on something that is not being used. 

I think the whole point of this article went over your head when you went into "grab the pitchforks and start an angry mob" mode. It has nothing to do with consumer cost or money. Energy is not currently an unlimited resource. One day oil, coal, and natural gas will be gone, period. This is a fact agreed by both political parties. Since our society depends on non renewable resources energy IS important. This is why the NRDC exists to begin with. It's not about saving the consumer money, it's furthering the country's ability to sustain itself.


Please stop making gamers look like fanatics.
 

00J
00J

@awarbrick89 @00J @golden1elite The Xbox uses more power so it can be activated by voice command from standby mode, but the ps4 still outweighs it over all...