For those of us who love gaming, a games console or pc is vital, but while we’re immersed in countless hours of gameplay,
we never tend to think about the power bill that ensues.
For those of us who love gaming, a games console or pc is vital, but while we’re immersed in countless hours of gameplay, we never tend to think about the power bill that ensues. As technology advances and graphics get clearer, the power demand seems to get higher, which means higher electricity bills and less money in your pocket. How much difference, however, is there between the power usage of each current games console? Perhaps the money saved in electricity bills will sway you towards one or the other? Let’s find out.
Released in November 2012 by Japanese based company Nintendo, the Wii U had the challenge of competing against ‘serious gaming’ consoles like the Playstation and Xbox. The previous generation console, the ‘Nintendo Wii’, was largely criticized for being heavily centred towards games suitable for children. Although the Wii U didn’t quite reach the levels of the Playstation or Xbox, it has still managed to sell a rather impressive 13.87 million units (as of February 2017).
Out of the next-generation consoles, the Wii U is by far the most eco-friendly, using the following amounts of electricity:
Home screen: 32w
Video streaming: 29w
The Wii U also has a power saving option for the gamepad, prolonging the battery life by up to an hour. This feature adjusts the backlighting, slightly dimming the screen to allow for an optimal power saving gameplay experience.
The Xbox One, following the raging success of the Xbox 360, was released in November 2013 by American company Microsoft around the same time as their direct rival console the ‘Playstation 4’. The console was received well in relation to its new sleek design and quieter operation; however, the device runs at a technically lower graphical level than the Playstation 4 and was thus criticized amongst gaming communities. For this and various other reasons, the Xbox One did not reach anywhere near the sales figures of the Playstation 4, with 28.72 million units sold as of February 2017.
The Xbox One places in between the three next-gen consoles at number two for energy efficiency, using the following:
Home screen: 72w
Video Streaming: 90w
The Xbox One uses an ‘instant on’ feature, but this uses around 30 times more electricity than the ‘energy saving’ mode. In order for your Xbox One to respond to the vocal command and be ready for use in just 2 seconds, you’ll need to use 15w of power, whereas if you use the traditional method for switching on your console, with energy saving mode set, you’ll use 0.5w.
The Playstation 4 was released by Japanese company Sony in November 2013 in line with the release of its direct competition, Xbox One. After Playstation’s narrow victory of the Xbox 360 with it’s Playstation 3 model, Sony needed to up their game in order to see some serious disparity in sales figures. This has appeared to be the case, with the Playstation 4 selling almost double the amount of the Xbox One. As of February 2017, the Playstation 4 sold 55.91 million units worldwide. The Playstation offers superior graphics, but for the first time, a paid membership for online play, which shocked and angered much of the Playstation gaming community.
Out of the next generation consoles, the Playstation 4 has the worst energy efficiency rating. Its approximate usage is as follows:
Home screen: 88w
Video streaming: 90w
The only energy saving feature that the Playstation 4 seems to offer is ‘rest mode’, which when you think about it, doesn’t really save you energy if you’re not going to be using the device for a considerable amount of time, because you could just switch it off.
Gaming computers are a little harder to pin down under one categorical electricity usage, as each gaming computer is different. The art of building your own personalised gaming computer to suit your performance and graphical needs is something that has been developed with time into being not just an alternative to solid state games consoles, but a preference. Gaming computers are much more customizable in every aspect than the abovementioned consoles and as such, are the weapon of choice for many hardcore gaming enthusiasts. Improving your performance hardware can give you the edge over your opponents and allows you to experience much more fluid and personalized gameplay.
The average gaming computer that will perform as well as a regular games console, uses a drastically larger amount of energy than the even the Playstation 4. During gameplay a gaming computer will use around 550w of electricity.