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Xbox One guzzles 25x more power than Xbox 360, 2x more than PS4

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The National Resource Defense Council has released a shocking new report about the ravenous power-consumption of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, drawing in enough electricity collectively to power all the homes in Houston. The NRDC’s study estimates that the current generation of consoles is costing American consumers $1 billion annually in utility bills, $400 million of which is drawn while sitting unused in standby mode.

Those are big, scary, round numbers, and we wanted to dig a little deeper, so we’ve compiled power usage data on the current and previous generation consoles to give some context:


Standby Idle Game
Xbox One 15.3 W 69.7 W 119 W
PlayStation 4 8.6 W 88.9 W 139.8 W
Xbox 360 (slim) 0.6 W 70.4 W  87 W
Xbox 360 (original) 2.3 W 155.7 W 177.8 W
PlayStation 3 (slim) 0.4 W  75.2 W  96.2 W 
PlayStation 3 (original) 1.2 W 171.4 W 206.9 W
Wii U 0.2 W 31.2 W 33 W

What immediately stands out is the huge jump in standby power consumption for the current generation, particularly the Xbox One. Apparently eagerly waiting around all night for someone to say “Xbox on!” is extremely demanding. The PlayStation 4’s idles at about half of the Xbox One’s consumption, but still substantially more than previous generations. 

The new consoles stack up much better when they’re active, though, running more efficiently than the first versions of their predecessors. Assuming that subsequent editions of the Xbox One and PS4 will make comparable improvements to the previous generation, then the situation might not be so dire as the NRDC forecasts. Microsoft recently announced a Kinect-less Xbox One, which will potentially deal with the main idling offender.

Thrown in at the end to shame its peers, the Wii U may be struggling in sales, but it is absolutely destroying the competition in energy consumption. Perhaps a serious energy crisis is all that Nintendo needs for a new marketing angle to get back in the game.

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