Electric Firm E.ON Reveals How Much Money Consoles Cost To Run Yearly

Electricity firm E.ON has disclosed how much energy playing a video game console around 2 hours per-day each year costs consumers in their electricity bills. The companies data shows that Nintendo consoles are the most cost effective and the Xbox series of consoles use more electricity resulting in higher costs. Here’s the data translated by Reset Era member, Fritz:

Current generation consoles:

  • Xbox One X: ~ 36€
  • PS4 Pro: ~ 34€
  • Xbox One: ~ 25€
  • PS4 Basic Model: ~ 18€
  • Nintendo Switch: ~ 3€
  • SNES Classic Mini: ~ 1€:

Older Generation Systems:

  • PS3: ~ 40€
  • PS2: ~ 5€
  • PS1: ~ 2€
  • Xbox 360: ~ 36€
  • Xbox: ~ 14€
  • Wii U: ~ 7€
  • Wii: ~ 3€

Source / Via


    1. This has nothing to do with Nintendo’s hardware expertise though. The Switch uses very little power because it’s much weaker than the system’s it’s being compared against. The same was true of the Wii U and Wii. In general, those system could have actually used way less power but Nintendo made chips that use older processes and didn’t release hardware revisions during their lifespans.

      For example, the Wii U’s chips used 45nm processes most other chips at the time of it’s release were already passed 32nm and using 28nm processes. Throughout it’s lifespan, 20nm and 16nm became available and the competing systems used them. If Nintendo had released revisions of the Wii U with reductions in chip size, it would have reduced energy usage both at peak and standby for the console and gamepad which would have allowed for a reduced manufacturing cost and smaller power supply. It also would have lead to less heat which would have allowed for a smaller heatsink and smaller overall body. I wouldn’t be surprised if they could have had the Wii U running mostly fanless by the time it was EOL. Using new chip fab processes is what allowed the New 3DS to add two more CPU cores, 2MB of L2 cache and clock the chip 3 times higher without reducing battery life.

      When it comes to the Switch, it’s using a 20nm process which uses significantly more power than 16nm processes that were already in use 2 years before release.

    1. Going of the relative specs of that gen of consoles, probably 10 euro. =b The ps2 wasn’t power efficient, it actually did have vastly lower specs then the other two consoles. It sold because they marketed so a cheap DVD player to the casual market and the high sales made 3rd parties release games for it, even though the liked the other consoles better. The lower spec is also why there’s a lot of mix opinions on some games that gen, a large amount of multiplats just didn’t run well on the ps2. Anyways, I just bring this up as I find it funny how PS fans like to act Sony was all about power and Nintendo was about casual appeal, when in actuality the original PS went for cost appeal and the PS2 went for it again in addition to marketing towards non gamers with it’s: cheap DVD player that plays games appeal.

      1. You raise another interesting point – even the PS3 tried to lure non-gamers by being a cheap Blu-ray player (compared to other Blu-ray players on the market). In fact, both Sony and Microsoft were desperately trying to market their consoles as do-everything multimedia machines at that time (and the Xbone still had that philosophy in mind at launch, though Sony went for a much more gaming-orientated marketing approach with PS4). Nintendo has *always* been doggedly about the games, and I respect that a lot.

      1. Even that is up for debate. The GameCube had a really solid memory layout and supported more hardware lights than the Xbox. Almost all of GC’s memory was low latency and it had very large, very fast texture and frame buffer caches. They then supplemented main RAM with a really slow pool that was excellent for storing audio and disk caching. By comparison, Xbox had more RAM but it was one pool was expected to handle general use, the frame buffer, and disk caching while it’s texture cache was something like 1/8th or 1/16th the size.

        Of course none of that means that the GameCube was overall more capable than the Xbox, just more comparable then people thought. The Xbox still had more memory and a more programable GPU which made it the first system to have deferred rendering… it was in a Shrek game oddly enough lol

        As for it’s power usage, I would assume it used more than the Wii. The GameCube’s heatsink was way larger.

  1. So people spent (in 6 years) dollars in gaming with a PS3? That’s why our planet is collapsing. ^^
    Switch is greener: 1.440.000.000 dollars. Well it’s good that people choose to play with a lesser power hungry console.

    1. It’s kind of unfair to compare the PS3 and Switch. The Switch may now have some games that the PS3 had but it came out 11 years prior. At the time, very few products even used things like SoCs.

      Also your numbers for the PS3 are actually low because the PS3 received a lot of revisions both major and minor over the years and earlier consoles used way more power. CNET claimed that the PS3 Slim used under half as much power compared to the previous model for example.

      If you compare the Switch to it’s contemporaries, it’s not all that crazy efficient. When it comes to what the PS4’s CPU and GPU can do, it’s about 6-10x more capable than the Switch and it has a mechanical hard drive and optical disk, both of which use more power than the solid state storage that Switch uses so you would expect that the PS4’s power usage would be over 10x more, but’s actually only 6x.

      I assume the reason for this is partly to do with Nintendo using an Nvidia SoC and largely to do with the fact that it’s a “hybrid”. When a PS4, Xbox One, Wii U or any other console is connected to the wall, it draws as much power as it needs to run. That’s not true with the Switch. If you’re actively playing a game on the Switch while it’s docked, then it needs to draw power from the wall in order to power the system itself AND it needs to draw additional power to charge the battery. For the sake of completeness, it also needs some bit of power for the USB splitting and DisplayPort to HDMI stuff that’s happening in the dock but that’s negligible.

      1. Gaming with the Switch cost less on the planet resources, fact. Who cares about anything else?
        And anyway it’s much more optimized, do some calculations, divide flops per watt. And it’s obvious since PS3/PS4 are loose architectures.

        1. Of course the Switch is more power efficient than the X360 and PS4 but why would that be relevant now? When people were playing Skyrim on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, there was no option to play anything on the Switch because the Switch wasn’t going to exist for another like 11 years. MS and Sony also didn’t have the option to create the those systems on a 20nm process with mobile RAM, solid state storage, etc. So why would any of that that be relevant to the here and now? Even now when comparing it to the PS4 and XBO, do people have the option to go with the greener option and play Red Dead Redemption on Switch? No, they don’t. So why act like one is offering the same stuff the other is but at a lower power usage when that isn’t the case at all?

          Also if you compare the peak flops versus peak power usage on the PS4 Pro, it’s about 52 GFLOPS/watt while it’s 42.6 GFLOPS/watt on the Switch so technically the Switch is less efficient.

          And what the hell is a “loose” architecture?

      2. I have always thought Wii, Wii U and Switch are not the ones behind for their lack of power. It is PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and XBox One, with their power hungry fans who are always wanting to go ahead of their times too much without caring about the planet.

        1. What makes you think they don’t care? Of course they care. There are things out there doing far more damage to the planet than video game consoles, after all. I’m more concerned by vehicles, planes, boats/ships, war vehicles, oil rigs, and nuclear power plants that put out tons more damaging pollution than a bunch of video game consoles.

        2. Even if they decided to design primarily around a lower wattage, that wouldn’t mean that PCs would stop advancing at the same pace they already are. On a PC, the primary use for a GPU is to run games but they’re also used by scientists and engineers for things like AI, scientific simulation, machine learning and for editors and VFX artists for 3D and 2D compositing, color grading, and decoding and encoding.

          The draw of home consoles after the rise of the home PC has been that they can offer more performance per dollar per watt than PCs and sometimes even surpassing the graphical presentation of some PC games.

          If consoles had held back so that the Wii U, Switch, and even the new Atari VCS were considered competitive specs then they would have not only made themselves obsolete but made themselves cheap and easy to compete against.

          I mean think about it, Wii, Wii U and Switch were being emulated by PCs within their lifespan while work on PS4 emulators is still very early and very niche. The Wii U made that a little hard with the gamepad but even then, most games can be emulated just fine.

  2. A common theme in this list is the weakest hardware uses the least amount of energy while the strongest uses the most. Switch is an outlier, though, thanks to it’s portable nature. I imagine when docked the Switch’s battery helps alleviate some of the energy it outputs so it’s not solely reliant on the energy of your house.

    1. Drawing power from the battery while it’s docked would completely defeat the dock’s purpose.

      If the Switch’s battery needs charging then it’ll pull enough power from the wall to power the system, the dock AND to charge the battery… batterieS if the JoyCons are connected and charging. When the batteries are fully charged then it’ll just pull enough to power the system and the dock.

      If it was just a home console then it would never need to charge any battery and it wouldn’t need to power the USB hub in the dock or any of the chips doing the MyDp to HDMI conversion so it actually uses more power because it’s portable.

  3. My consoles actually cost me a bit more to play as I have to have the light on even though I don’t need to plus il have the heating on if I’m cold and il probably boil the kettle and make coffee like I do when I’m playing games plus round about now if I’m in the sitting room il have to have the Christmas tree lights on as well.
    Costing me a fortune.

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