vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Energy use of US games consoles to require four full power stations

by Mark Tyson on 19 May 2014, 11:00

Tags: Sony Computers Entertainment Europe (NYSE:SNE), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Nintendo (TYO:7974)

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaceiz

Add to My Vault: x

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) in the US has published (PDF) a follow up report on the energy use of games consoles, last published in 2008. It shows that while many energy saving technologies have been employed in the latest consoles they still "consume two to three times more annual energy than the most recent models of their predecessors". The Nintendo Wii U bucks the trend by providing higher res graphics and more processing power yet overall consumes less energy than the original Wii.

Overall the installed user base of consoles in the US will use roughly 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually if/when all the previous gen users move to next gen. This will mean consumers will be spending $1 billion p.a. to run their consoles, $400 million of that is eaten up while the consoles are in standby mode.

So it looks like standby uses a large proportion of the energy consumed. The new Xbox One is particularly bad for sucking up electricity when in standby, as it's waiting to hear the magic words 'Xbox On'. Also consider that if you want to use your new console to watch a film, then it will be using "30 to 45 times more power to stream a movie than a dedicated Apple TV or Google Chromecast".

PS3 and Xbox 360 launch models were worst offenders

While some tech news sites have tried to spin this report to say the next gen consoles are using up more energy than ever, the NRDC historical chart shows that previous generation Sony and Microsoft launch consoles used considerably more juice than the next gen launch consoles. It will be interesting to see if both the PS4 and Xbox One get much more energy efficient over the coming years, similar to the way their predecessors were refined. That may be largely down to AMD's progress this time around.



HEXUS Forums :: 18 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
This is odd. Modern hardware is meant to be energy efficient. Look at the TDP if the new Intel chips, for instance
“Connected Standby” it's what's using the big chunk of juice over a year. My PS4 goes off at the wall switch when it's off so you can reduce that cost/waste easily.
OilSheikh
This is odd. Modern hardware is meant to be energy efficient.
It is - as the article says:

Hexus
the NRDC historical chart shows that previous generation Sony and Microsoft launch consoles used considerably more juice than the next gen launch consoles.
So it looks like standby uses a large proportion of the energy consumed. The new Xbox One is particularly bad for sucking up electricity when in standby, as it's waiting to hear the magic words ‘Xbox On’.
I still can't see the big deal over switching an XB on with voice only - how much effort does it really take if they put a touch-sensitive power button on the top of the Kinect? Heck, even add a stroke gesture - go left-to-right to switch on, right-to-left to switch off if you want something “futuristic”.
Also consider that if you want to use your new console to watch a film, then it will be using “30 to 45 times more power to stream a movie than a dedicated Apple TV or Google Chromecast”.
Ouch! Be interesting to hear how these addon boxes compare to whatever's built in to a “smart tv”.


What I'd find interesting would be if someone could do a similar “power budget” for the move from feature phones to smartphones. Don't know about anyone else, but I always seem to have at least one uUSB charger plugged in charging something - if it's not the phone, then it's a bluetooth device, or a tablet, or a portable media player, or a backup battery pack, or …
The power consumption is well under 150W at full load when gaming:

http://hexus.net/media/uploaded/2014/5/969c1826-06da-48dd-8906-75a4445e39d2.png



Compare that to many gaming PCs,and you are still looking at lower power consumption.

My SB Xeon E3 1220(which has a lower power draw than a typical SB Core i5) and a GTX660 in a mini-ITX based system still draws upto 200W at the wall when gaming.