Report: Xbox One and PS4 use up to three times more power than Xbox 360 and PS3


May 4, 2013
Many folks will be getting an Xbox One or a PlayStation 4 console for Christmas this week (a few people might be getting one of each product). However, a recent report claims that both consoles will use up to three times more energy than the older Xbox 360 and PS3, even though Microsoft and Sony have put in features that are designed to make the Xbox One and PS4 more efficient.

The non-profit Natural Resources Defense Council claims to have "completed rigorous measurements of the power use" of both consoles. On the plus side, the group praises Microsoft and Sony for putting in features such as charging accessories while the consoles are in a lower powered "sleep mode" and reducing power when left on for 10 minutes.

However, the same report claims that because the Xbox One and PS4 use more power overall to play games and watch movies, the energy efficiencies that the companies have put into the console are overridden. It states, "For example, the Xbox One uses approximately 40 percent more power to play a game than the Xbox 360, and the PS4 consumes almost twice as much as the PS3."

In a head-to-head study, the PS4 uses a lot more power than the Xbox One when playing games, streaming movies like Netflix and navigating through its interface. By the same token, the Xbox One uses more power when it is in Connected Standby mode than the PS4, as well as when both consoles are turned "off" but still connected to a power socket.

Because the Xbox One uses more power in Connected Standby mode, where it is waiting for its owner to say "Xbox One" via its Kinect sensor, this report claims that it will consume more electricity annually than the PS4. It estimates that Microsoft's console will use 253 kilowatt hours per year, which will cost about $150 a year in energy bills. The PS4 is estimated to use 184 kilowatt hours per year.

The NRDC claims that both companies can make efforts to improve the energy efficiency for their new consoles via software updates, such as reducing the amount of power needed to stream video. The report also says Microsoft should try to cut down the Connected Standby power mode on the Xbox One.

Source: Natural Resources Defense Council