NRDC: Xbox One, PS4 & Wii U to add $1B in energy costs this year

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Sony’s PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s Xbox One consume twice or thrice as much energy as their previous-generation predecessors, much of it in standby mode, claims a new report.

Research by the Natural Resources Defence Council (NRDC) estimated that the PS4 and Xbox One will cost American consumers up to a $1 billion in energy costs, annually.

According to the report, Xbox One’s power consumption has increased dramatically to a maximum of 289kWh/year, as opposed to the last-generation Xbox 360’s consumption of 70kWh/year, while PS4’s 181kWh/year compared to the 64kWh/year consumed by PS3. Nintendo Wii U, on the contrary, is actually consuming 37kWh/year versus the Wii’s consumption of 40kWh/year.

“We don’t have a problem with people playing games. But the problem is the amount of energy used when not playing a game,” says author Pierre Delforge, NRDC’s director of high-tech energy efficiency.

NRDC report read “But if Microsoft and Sony follow NRDC’s recommendations, they could cut the new consoles’ electricity use by one-fourth beyond current projections through software and hardware optimizations, saving U.S. consumers $250 million on their annual utility bills and enough energy to power all the households in San Jose, America’s 10th largest city.”

All the three consoles, accounting for at least 90 percent of the US market, are claimed to squander $400 million worth of electricity when on standby or sleep mode, as Xbox One uses 15 watts of continuous power, while PS4 uses 8 watts and Wii U uses less than 1 watt in standby mode.

NRDC also noted that if PS4, Xbox One and Wii U replace all the install bases of the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii respectfully the total energy consumption will allegedly increase to more than 10 billion kilowatt-hours annually, approximately the output of four large power plants that produce enough energy to completely power the city of Houston in Texas.