Gaming console electricity consumption

It’s ok, I’m not about to become the fun police, but if you’re a gamer with a green streak, a recent study by the Natural Resources Defense Council and Ecos Consulting might get you thinking.

The first ever comprehensive US study on the energy use of video game consoles has found that home gaming equipment consumes an estimated 16 billion kilowatt-hours per year. That’s roughly equal to the annual electricity use of the city of San Diego.

According to the report, a Sony PlayStation 3 or Microsoft Xbox 360 left on 24 hours per day, seven days per week will chew through as much electricity annually as two new refrigerators.

The study states that through introducing more user-friendly power management features, approximately 11 billion kWh of electricity could be saved per year. These features could also avoid over 7 million tons of CO2 emissions each year; a volume equivalent to all the greenhouse gases generated by the cars on the road in San Jose.

Nintendo Wii users can breathe easy. Using an average of just 16 watts in Active mode, the Wii was the most frugal of the group. Sony PlayStation 3 (PS3 – 2007) was the energy sucker at 150 watts in Active mode. In October last year Sony introduced a power management feature that could be downloaded, but it is disabled by default; so PS3 users might want to check they have the latest updates and that the power management feature is switched on.

A few watts saved here and there all adds up when everyone makes an effort!

You can read more of the Lowering the Cost of Play: Improving the Energy Efficiency of Video Game Consoles report here (PDF)


The impact of standby power consumption