Xbox One, PS4 Waste $400 Million Annually in Standby Mode

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Xbox One, PS4 Waste $400 Million Annually in Standby Mode

The current generation of video game consoles cost $1 billion to operate annually and $400 million in utility bills while in standby mode, with the Xbox One being the biggest energy user.

Owners of current-gen video game consoles should expect to see their energy bills rise significantly. The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a non-profit international environmental advocacy group, reported the Xbox One, PS4, and Wii U cost American consumers $1 billion to operate each year. The consoles, particularly the PS4 and the Xbox One, cost $400 million in utility bills annually in standby mode.

NRDC's report is a follow-up to its previous report on the energy use of video game consoles in 2008. The new report has found that the PS4 and Xbox One in particular use the most power; the PS4 and Xbox One consume two to three times more energy each year than the PS3 and Xbox 360. NRDC states this is because of higher power demand in standby mode and the Xbox One's TV viewing mode, which adds 72 watts to TV viewing. Both the PS4 and Xbox One use 30 to 45 times more power to stream a movie than an Apple TV or Google Chromecast.

The report indicated the Xbox One uses the most energy due to the TV viewing mode, and if all Xbox One owners used the console to watch TV, it would add $300 million to yearly energy bills. Even in standby, the Xbox One does not conserve energy well; it consumes nearly half of its annual energy while in standby and continuously draws more than 15 watts waiting for the user to say "Xbox on" to turn it on.

The Xbox One is the main energy consumer, but the PS4 has it beat in one case. When powered on, the PS4 draws more energy than the Xbox One because the PS4 uses more power than necessary to keep USB ports active, the NRDC stated.

While the PS4 and Xbox One consume significantly more energy than their predecessors, the Wii U actually consumes slightly less energy than the Wii. NRDC noted that compared to the PS4 and Xbox One, the Wii U is an "energy sipper."

NRDC recommends users be able to easily opt out of "Instant On" voice command features through the initial setup menu. The organization will make recommendations to console manufacturers to reduce electricity consumption and save consumers $250 million annually.

Source: NRDC, (2)

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My friend said his electricity bill went up $20 a month since he got his PS4. I keep all my stuff on a power bar and shut the power bar off when not using it.

I think I just cemented my decision to not get an XBox 1. I got too much to pay for as it stands...

Maybe a stupid question, but who the hell leaves their consoles on in standby mode? It takes at best 10 seconds for it to boot up. Or is it just for the sake of voice activating it?

Anyway, I never leave anything on, even my router gets switched off at night.

Weaver:
My friend said his electricity bill went up $20 a month since he got his PS4. I keep all my stuff on a power bar and shut the power bar off when not using it.

That's pretty much what I do as well. Mainly I've been doing that for years because I can hear the AC "hum" that the systems have at night when plugged in. PS2 was the worst offender of that buzz for me. Nowadays I always unplug all my consoles before going to bed, so that they aren't in standby mode or buzzing while I sleep. :D

Well that's an eye opener. My PS3 has been in standby mode for most of the last 6 months. I thought the energy consumption was supposed to be next to nothing in standby mode.

The only thing that's on in this house at night is the router, boiler, bedside clock and landline. Who leaves thing on standby? People who don't pay the house bills no doubt.

Casual Shinji:
Maybe a stupid question, but who the hell leaves their consoles on in standby mode? It takes at best 10 seconds for it to boot up. Or is it just for the sake of voice activating it?

Anyway, I never leave anything on, even my router gets switched off at night.

Well firstly, at least with the XBox One it can be closer to 40 seconds, as opposed to the 2-3 from standby.

But anyways, it's a prompt during setup if you're in Europe (otherwise it's the default setting and you need to go into power settings). It's not like people are deliberately choosing 'standby' every time they walk away, but rather a case of when you turn it off, it doesn't go 'off', but into standby mode.

So other than those who deliberately turn off the power bar to cut power when they walk away, it's not something people will really think about when they 'turn it off' and leave.

** BREAKING NEWS, THIS JUST IN: ELECTRONIC APPLIANCES USE ELECTRICITY WHEN ON **

While it's fun to laugh at consoles, I leave my massive computer on all night usually, and it's guaranteed a bigger power hog. I'm sure I'm not alone here, either.

TiberiusEsuriens:
** BREAKING NEWS, THIS JUST IN: ELECTRONIC APPLIANCES USE ELECTRICITY WHEN ON **

While it's fun to laugh at consoles, I leave my massive computer on all night usually, and it's guaranteed a bigger power hog. I'm sure I'm not alone here, either.

You're not, I run several servers and my full rig at all times because I provide persistent playing worlds for several games. I admit I'm part of the problem, though I try to be good about power in other areas where I can.

These numbers are absolutely shocking and astounding. It's enough to make you march on the Capital and demand some kind of legislation to prevent this kind of grotesque excessive expense levied on consumers. Then taking two shits to divide by population/market penetration numbers, one finds that this works out to each household adding maybe $3-5 to its YEARLY electric bill. Considering most people's electric bill is somewhere in the several tens of dollars to a couple hundred dollars MONTHLY, I doubt anyone will notice, unless they happen to read the report or this article.

ADDENDUM: In seriousness, yes, we should be more conscientious of our growing use of electric power as society progresses technologically, but we need to also have some perspective on the rate of that growth and what its actual effects are, rather than just throwing around sensationally large numbers. Further, there needs to be better dialog on means of effectively managing the balance among the growth of power consumption, the growth of power production/distribution capacity, stability, and sustainability, and the effects on the environment. Society is going to progress technologically. We are going to have increasing demands for electric power. The question is how to go about it while ensuring a stable and sustainable future. Without electric power, modern society collapses. Without a supportive environment, we die. The problem isn't the "what"; it's the "how".

I love how the Wii U is more energy efficient than the Wii...Anyway, I have all of my consoles on a powerbar which I suppose I should start shutting off. I didn't realize how vampiric these consoles are. I still have a PS2 hooked up too and am curious about how much power it's currently using at the moment sitting idol...

Well... I'm just gonna go unplug my ps4 now.

Mcoffey:
Well... I'm just gonna go unplug my ps4 now.

Why would you have it plugged in? The next game is coming out in a month or so... ;)

"Buy a Wii U! Its power friendly!"

--Nintendo, if it had a marketer with a brain

Anyways, I'm more interested in the leap between the PS3 and PS4, as well as the 360 and XB1, where as a system like Wii U which, and let's be reasonable here, is a great deal more powerful than the Wii managed to decrease power consumption. Hmmm.

Well the PS4 gives you the option to put it in standby or just turn it off fully when you turn it off from the main menu.

kanetsb:

Mcoffey:
Well... I'm just gonna go unplug my ps4 now.

Why would you have it plugged in? The next game is coming out in a month or so... ;)

Yeah its definitely been a dedicated netflix machine as of late. It's hard to justify buying games for it when those same games will be cheaper and play better on my PC. Those exclusives are way too few and far between.

Almost any electronic device will use power even though you think it's off. The transformer/PSU always has a little current going through that ends up as waste heat, with more energy being wasted for circuits adding convenience like remote control power on or the voice control thing, and much more when the device is on of course. While Intel and AMD are trying to make CPUs and chipsets with better performance per watt ratios, a jump up in power with a new console generation will usually show more power usage.

The xbox tv thing, though, shows just how out of touch companies are with conserving resources. Why do we need to waste an extra 72 watts watching tv? To talk to friends? To wait for them to come online to play a game? That's what skype and similar services are for and you can get that stuff on your phone now to save even more juice, compared to having a desktop, laptop or console sitting there putting out more heat. Other things like those coffee makers that can be set to run in the morning just run up your bill when you could just get in the routine of making coffee as the first part of your morning ritual.

This is why I got a multi-switch power strip with a master off button for my PC. The monitor, two external drives, and speakers along the tower and any charger I got sitting on the desk all add up over time. Same thing with my entertainment center, It has rack mount multi-switch power strip going to my TV, amp, PS3, PS2, Wii and (until a year ago) 360. I don't really loose any convenience since I have to grab controllers and remotes from the drawers right next to my audio rack. Your best bet with any piece of techno crap in your home is to put it on a power strip with a switch or unplug it entirely and only leave it plugged in if it something like a DVR, modem/router/AP, fridge, or alarm clock.

This maybe crazy, but just turn off your console when your not using it - then unplug it. You never know, it might just work. Granted for the xb1 it will make the saying "xbox on" feature redundant. But its better to save that money on wasted electricity and can use it for a new game or something instead.

I guess the XB1 costs more on standby due to kinect. But then this wont be an issue when the kinectless one is released.

Shoggoth2588:
I still have a PS2 hooked up too and am curious about how much power it's currently using at the moment sitting idol...

Depends on which model you have. When on, the fat original PS2 uses about 32 watts, while the slim PS2 uses only about 23 watts. In standby mode for the Slim model, it's only 1.2 watts, while the original PS2 uses about 2.7 watts. But it depends on the reviewers it seems, as some people are saying that the slim PS2 takes 7.0 watts when in standby...which seems incredibly wrong. Of course, I've only seen one review claiming that to be the case.
The GameCube in comparison uses 23 watts when in use, and is 0.10 watts in standby it seems.

I don't get people that leave thigs on stand-by modes. It's a matter of being aware of your place in the world. Those infinitely looooooooong seconds it takes to boot up things not in stand-by are just so insignificant to your life that saving them at the cost of constant resource waste is the most clear testament to our societal "needs". In my house the only thing that stays plugged in at all times is the fridge. Not the TV, not the Router, not the stereo, not the TV, not my computer, not the microwave oven. Just the fridge. It so easy to save energy by unplugging things. A nice little habit to reduce environmental impact.

It would be nice to be able to track our electricity usage but, at least here in Ontario, power usage to hydro bill makes no bloody sense. We spent months of only using things like our laundry machines at off peak times only to see our bill increase by 40%. The bill can go up or down by over $100 with no reason for it, with the company saying, "Oh, well, we see you used far more electricity this month.". No we damn well didn't!

Sigh, anywho... I doubt the standby consumption of the consoles is something that I could track due to the BS of the hydro company I have to deal with.

I never use standby modes on anything. Partly why I loathe idle grinding so much.

If I'm not using it, I'll turn it off.

Money doesn't grow on trees and all that.

See another reason to get a Wii You and piss on the Xbone. Better for your pocket :P

Brian Tams:
"Buy a Wii U! Its power friendly!"

--Nintendo, if it had a marketer with a brain

Somehow I don't think that'll be a huge marketing coup for them.

However it's little things like that I love about Nintendo. So much thought and consideration put into every aspect of their designs.

Hilarious.

PC's brag about how efficient their PSU's are. Nintendo makes sure that the WiiU uses less power overall for better performance.

MS and SONY? Who cares about power saving! Just make the thing consume half of what it would when it's turned on. It's not like people get billed for that electricity or it's incredibly fucking wasteful for the environment!

Shoggoth2588:
I love how the Wii U is more energy efficient than the Wii...

Maybe because the controller loses battery life so fast people aren't playing it for extended periods of time like you could with the Wii.

Jumwa:

Brian Tams:
"Buy a Wii U! Its power friendly!"

--Nintendo, if it had a marketer with a brain

Somehow I don't think that'll be a huge marketing coup for them.

However it's little things like that I love about Nintendo. So much thought and consideration put into every aspect of their designs.

At this point, any form of marketing would be a huge marketing coup for them.

For those wondering why I would leave my PS4 in standby mode, there are plenty of reasons. One, because it automatically downloads all updates as they are released. That way when I want to play a game, I don't have to wait for an update to download and install, it's already done. It also allows me to start the system up remotely using my Vita if I want to play a PS4 game remotely over the internet. Also, if I purchase content online through the Sony store while I'm at work, I can have it automatically start downloading to my devices so it's ready to go by the time I get home.

I have recently gotten into the habit of plugging out all my electronics when not in use, simply because I don't need them on at the time, the electricity bill is relatively high, so I'll do my part.

If it will save us money in the long run, its worth the extra few seconds to put a few plugs back in.

Misleading title. Using electricity is not same as wasting. When you light up a light at night in order to not kill yourself from being blind its not wasting electricty. neither is when your gaming because your getting enjoyment for it. And of course new consoles will take more power than old ones.

luvd1:
The only thing that's on in this house at night is the router, boiler, bedside clock and landline. Who leaves thing on standby? People who don't pay the house bills no doubt.

I leave my PC on during nights sometimes because its actually doing stuff for me. and i pay my own bills. I dont know about consoles, but PCs know how to drain only as much electricity as they need and dont use that much when not on load.

shiajun:
I don't get people that leave thigs on stand-by modes. It's a matter of being aware of your place in the world. Those infinitely looooooooong seconds it takes to boot up things not in stand-by are just so insignificant to your life that saving them at the cost of constant resource waste is the most clear testament to our societal "needs". In my house the only thing that stays plugged in at all times is the fridge. Not the TV, not the Router, not the stereo, not the TV, not my computer, not the microwave oven. Just the fridge. It so easy to save energy by unplugging things. A nice little habit to reduce environmental impact.

you are missing a problem of scale.
lets take a plastic factory, the factory uses more electricity in 1 second of its function than all of my devices could on standby. standby mode isnt the place where you can make impact cutting usage. You do know that over 60% of electricity used by housholds is actually attributed to refrigerators? we have gotten pretty good at using low wattage.
also unplugging things are often pointless effort. for example microwave being plugged in will not use any electricity (or modern ones use some for clock, which is bascially nothing in grand scale)

1337mokro:
Hilarious.

PC's brag about how efficient their PSU's are. Nintendo makes sure that the WiiU uses less power overall for better performance.

MS and SONY? Who cares about power saving! Just make the thing consume half of what it would when it's turned on. It's not like people get billed for that electricity or it's incredibly fucking wasteful for the environment!

new consoles reminds me more and more of PCs in the 90s, more power fuck electricity bill. functionality wise its also similar. as well as 20 years old architecture. Oh, god, i see a pattern now :(

Mcoffey:

Yeah its definitely been a dedicated netflix machine as of late. It's hard to justify buying games for it when those same games will be cheaper and play better on my PC. Those exclusives are way too few and far between.

I found that for some reason, Child of Light was ~20 cents cheaper on the PS4. :) Other then that, my next planned power up is when Final Fantasy XV comes out. :)

People it's call turning it off at the wall, seriously that's how thousands of house fires start because people don't turn stuff off/ unplug at the wall!

putowtin:
People it's call turning it off at the wall, seriously that's how thousands of house fires start because people don't turn stuff off/ unplug at the wall!

Actually, you can just turn the PS4 off at the console. You don't have to go into standby mode. I only ever leave it in standby if its downloading/upgrading something.

What's more is that the PS4 will automatically enter standby if left on without being used for too long.

So it's really not that bad at all. Assuming that the XBO has similar features, then this article should really read that people waste $400 million when given a standby feature.

It's called, TURN THE DAMN SYSTEM OFF YOU LAZY BUGGERS!

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