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If you thought standby mode for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One were a heaven-send, enabling you get the console turned on faster or enabling you to activate them with ease via voice-commands, well, those features come at a heavy costs. A cumulative of $400 million in annual consumer energy bills.
Gaming Bolt is reporting that the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released some pressing information about the energy consumption of the new generation consoles.
After doing some number crunching, some energy splicing and some dollar bill counting, the NRDC estimated that the PS4 and Xbox One will cost American consumers up to a $1 billion in energy costs, annually.
They mentioned in the press release that...
“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.”
That's kind of crazy when you think about it. Especially the part about the low-power, standby modes still costing gamers an arm and a leg in energy consumption. It's like cutting off the arms and legs of a vampire who keeps squiggling around on the ground, biting people in the ankles. He may not be able to do as much damage as if he had both his arms and legs, but he's still biting people in the freaking ankles!
What's more is that NRDC also mentioned that if the PS4 and Xbox One replaced the install bases of the PS3 and Xbox 360, respectfully – which, according to VG Chartz, might put the total at 163 million – they would consume more than 10 billion kilowatts an hour and would produce enough energy to completely power the city of Houston... in Texas.
The part I found most interesting, as mentioned in the article, was about the consumption of energy in standby mode compared to the standard use of the console, with Gaming Bolt writing...
Other findings from the NRDC revealed that the consoles consume more energy in standby mode in a year than when playing games; half of the Xbox One’s yearly consumption occurs in standby mode as Kinect awaits commands; and that the PS4 and Xbox One, both hyped for their media viewing capabilities, utilize 30 to 45 times more power to stream movies than Apple TV or Google Chromecast.
This is startling news, because one: if you're concerned about rising energy costs, the PS4 and Xbox One won't help with that. Two: if you're sitting on the fence as to which console you would like to buy (or if you're going to buy one at all), you're likely going to go with something that doesn't cost an arm and a leg and doesn't contribute greatly to your bills.
For casuals, stuff like Amazon Fire TV and Chromecast are looking mighty fine. I mean, you get your TV on your TV, you get some light gaming and you get to save on your energy bills.
I suppose the above information is definitely something energy-cautious consumers would like to take into consideration before diving head-first into eighth-gen gaming. Also, if you're really worried about those rising costs, you might want to bite the bullet, deal with the long boot-up times and completely shut your Xbox One or PS4 down, instead of leaving them in standby mode.