Xbox One and PS4 expected to cost $1 billion in annual U.S. electric bills

Both Microsoft and Sony's next-generation of consoles all boast their own set of unique features, but they each have one thing in common: they consume copious amounts of power. In fact, the National Resources Defense Council estimates that U.S. consumers will spend about $1 billion annually in electric bills on these new consoles.

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Both Microsoft and Sony's next-generation of consoles boast their own set of unique features, but they each have one thing in common: they consume copious amounts of power. In fact, they eat up two to three times more energy than the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, whether they're on or in standby mode. To that end, the National Resources Defense Council estimates that U.S. consumers will spend about $1 billion annually in electric bills on these new consoles.

The new consoles vs. their predecessors

In a press release issued on Friday, the NRDC cited extensive testing across both Microsoft and Sony's new consoles. The Xbox One was shown to consume the most power, largely due to Kinect remaining active during standby mode awaiting the "Xbox On" command. The One's standby mode is said to cost consumers $400 million annually. Meanwhile, the PlayStation 4 is said to consume significant amounts of electricity, due to the DualShock 4's poor battery life. The NRDC points out that most users wind up having to plug their controllers into their consoles to charge them, leading to excessive power use. The initial NRDC report adds that both consoles have proven inefficient in regards to their movie apps, using 30 to 45 times more power to stream movies than the Apple TV or Google Chromecast. The NRDC has issued recommendations to both Microsoft and Sony that would help cut the consoles' current power consumption by 25 percent.

Annual energy consumption

Power consumption during video play

Senior Editor

Ozzie has been playing video games since picking up his first NES controller at age 5. He has been into games ever since, only briefly stepping away during his college years. But he was pulled back in after spending years in QA circles for both THQ and Activision, mostly spending time helping to push forward the Guitar Hero series at its peak. Ozzie has become a big fan of platformers, puzzle games, shooters, and RPGs, just to name a few genres, but he’s also a huge sucker for anything with a good, compelling narrative behind it. Because what are video games if you can't enjoy a good story with a fresh Cherry Coke?

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From The Chatty
  • reply
    May 19, 2014 4:30 PM

    Ozzie Mejia posted a new article, Xbox One and PS4 expected to cost $1 billion in annual U.S. electric bills.

    Both Microsoft and Sony's next-generation of consoles all boast their own set of unique features, but they each have one thing in common: they consume copious amounts of power. In fact, the National Resources Defense Council estimates that U.S. consumers will spend about $1 billion annually in electric bills on these new consoles.

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      May 19, 2014 4:57 PM

      Sheesh, all this fluff and not even a chart with wattage ratings when in standby, TV mode, and playing a game? I wanted to compare it to my gaming PC, which IIRC uses 450 watts full tilt in a game that uses all of the videocard features, and about 230 watts when idle but running. However, I do shut the gaming PC off cold when not using it, and I've been using my Linux NUC computer for web-only computing, which ends up using 70 watts for the computer and monitor.

      The "always on in standby" thing is what's using up most of the power, since it has to keep enough CPU resources online to run 24/7 Kinect speech recognition to listen for "XBox On". THAT is the truly wasteful thing about XBox One's hardware design.

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        May 19, 2014 5:02 PM

        Ok. I added charts.

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          May 19, 2014 5:12 PM

          Sheesh, all this fluff with charts and not even any gifs of kittens playing with other kittens?

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          May 19, 2014 5:59 PM

          those charts are pretty cool, actually. thanks for that

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          May 19, 2014 7:58 PM

          Cool charts are good.

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          May 19, 2014 8:07 PM

          There we go; thanks. My gaming PC at idle consumes 129 watts without the monitor on (200 watts with). It's scary to see the power draw on the PS4 and XBox One approach the power draw figures of a full-sized PC.

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        May 20, 2014 12:27 AM

        230 watts on idle? Sheesh, why don't you throw in some chipped baby dolphins while you are at it?

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      May 19, 2014 5:40 PM

      Yeah that's why I don't run the Xbone in Stand By mode.

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      May 19, 2014 5:41 PM

      I won't be contributing much to that figure. The PS4 is shut down completely after every use.

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      May 19, 2014 5:42 PM

      Ozzie, any idea how much the Wii U consumes in Stand By?

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        May 19, 2014 5:50 PM

        The second-to-bottom chart shows how much the Wii U uses in Stand By mode and it's very low, so much so that I can't even make out the number. (~5, maybe?)

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        May 19, 2014 5:54 PM

        It's about half a watt, right?

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      May 19, 2014 5:48 PM

      People actually their consoles on standby? Why?

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        May 19, 2014 5:51 PM

        Background updates?

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        May 19, 2014 5:51 PM

        Not much point right now. If Sony ever finally rolls out the originally promised standby features like instant on, automatic downloads, etc then it might be worth it.

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          May 19, 2014 5:54 PM

          Man I thought that shit would be on there already.

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          May 19, 2014 5:55 PM

          ...on the PS4.

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          May 19, 2014 8:12 PM

          wait so that stuff... doesn't work? well fuck. does standby controller charging work??

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            May 19, 2014 8:22 PM

            Yes, that part works at least. Also buying a downloading a game on your phone while your console is in standby will download the game. I've done that at work and had the game done by the time I got home.

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              May 19, 2014 8:49 PM

              Yeah it works great. My games are updated and anything a buy at work is downloaded when I get home. I always keep it in standby mode.

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            May 19, 2014 8:38 PM

            standby charging works fine and If you're downloading something and put it into standby mode it'll still continue it at least. I've used that a couple of times however I usually shut it off to save power.

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        May 19, 2014 5:52 PM

        for the same reason they leave their computer on all day, faster wake up, automatic updates done while you're away, the ability to push updates manually (ex tell your console to start a game download while you're at work so it's done when you get home).

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        May 19, 2014 5:53 PM

        Forgot a leave there

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        May 19, 2014 7:19 PM

        So they turn on in like 2 seconds? is this a real question?

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        May 20, 2014 3:04 AM

        I think most people do, right? I mean, to take it out of standby, you basically have to unplug it. At least that's the case with my PS3 and Wii. Even the AC Adapters to my Genesis and SNES continue to burn power when plugged in, they stay warm unless you unplug them.

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          May 20, 2014 4:48 AM

          If you push the power button on the ps4 you get a menu of shutdown choices (argh what poor design) and the bottom one is "power off".

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      May 19, 2014 5:57 PM

      This is why I haven't bought into the current gen yet. I'll wait a hardware reiteration or two, if ever. I didn't get a PS3 until the slim. I upgraded to a super slim when that came out.

      The Wii ran ridiculously cool. It was a good console. The only thing was it felt like you were on an island since connectivity options were so limited.

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      May 19, 2014 8:26 PM

      can someone translate this into an average montly cost hike for usage? For example, I have both new consoles and now they are on standby all the time...Xbox one in TV mode or active mode as well.

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        May 19, 2014 10:59 PM

        Then you probably paying an extra $5 to 10 per system a month at least if its on standby all month.

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      May 19, 2014 8:42 PM

      You read it here first folks MS is in bed with big coal.

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        May 19, 2014 11:57 PM

        I think they are in bed with Big Nuclear and are working hard to justify new plants.

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      May 19, 2014 9:14 PM

      This should boost wiiu sales.

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        May 20, 2014 7:03 AM

        I find it amazing that the Wii U uses less power than the Wii.

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      May 20, 2014 3:20 AM

      Ok so shacknews is doomed, or perhaps bullshit articles like this is what keeps it alive? Either way Ozzie, good luck dude

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        May 20, 2014 7:20 AM

        It's vidya game clickbait

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        May 20, 2014 9:50 AM

        Is this a joke? I've been away all weekend but are you seriously complaining about the shack having actual decent original content? Wtf.

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          May 20, 2014 10:15 AM

          It's part of his "the end is nigh" schtick he has going right now.

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      May 20, 2014 6:06 AM

      Good info and disappointing designs.

      I leave my XBox Eye of Mordor turned off but I had started putting the PS4 in standby since it's used so often - guess I'll change that behavior immediately.

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      May 20, 2014 7:43 AM

      How in the everloving fuck do you draw 15 Watts on standby in the year two thousand and goddamn fourteen?

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      May 20, 2014 8:03 AM

      Further validation of my Wii U purchase.

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      May 20, 2014 9:59 AM

      i set my Xbone to Energy Saving mode.. problem solved. i'm fine with using the controller to turn on the system :)