Power consumption: Gaming with Playstation, Xbox and Co. is so expensive.

Your gaming console uses more power than you might think. We have calculated how expensive gaming with Xbox, Playstation & Co. is.

One of the few advantages of the looming energy crisis is that there is more discussion about ways to save energy. More and more people are taking a critical look at the consumption of their devices and are considering where electricity can be saved.

Gaming hardware is certainly one of the biggest power guzzlers in many households. Computer, screen, console or television – these devices can pull a lot out of the socket. But how much exactly?

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In this post, we’ll focus on game consoles and calculate how much it costs us to run them on a regular basis. For this we take a look at the most popular devices, but leave out the consumption of televisions or sound systems. After all, we don’t know whether you have a 27-inch LCD TV or a 70-inch OLED TV at home.

Basics: Electricity price and playing time

For the price per kilowatt hour (kWh) we estimate 37.3 cents. According to the BDEW association, this corresponds to the German average in July 2022. The consumption of the various consoles is taken from this table.

It remains to be clarified how long gamers actually play in Germany. According to a study by Limelight Networks, that’s an average of 6.92 hours per week (as of 2020). For the sake of simplicity, we round up to seven hours – that is, one hour a day. For frequent gamers, however, we calculate the consumption with an average playing time of two hours per day.

PlayStation 4

For this calculation we use the Playstation 4 Slim, which has been in production since 2016 and offers better energy efficiency than the original. With demanding games, the PS4 Slim consumes around 110 watt hours. This results in an annual consumption of 40.15 kWh. This results in costs of 14.98 euros per year.

If you play two hours a day, the costs double accordingly to 29.95 euros per year.

Xbox One

For this calculation we use the Xbox One S, which has been in production since 2016 and offers better energy efficiency than the original. With demanding games, the Xbox One S consumes around 90 watt hours. The annual consumption for one hour of play time per day is 32.85 kWh, resulting in costs of 12.25 euros per year. With two hours of playing time, the costs double to 24.50 euros per year.

PlayStation 5

The Playstation 5 consumes up to 220 watt hours when gaming, twice as much as its predecessor. One hour of daily gaming generates a consumption of 80.3 kWh. This is noticeable on the electricity bill with 29.95 euros per year. If you play for two hours a day, you even have to shell out 59.90 euros.

Xbox Series X/S

Like the Playstation 5, the Xbox Series X also consumes up to 220 watt hours for demanding games, more than twice as much as the Xbox One S. The consumption and costs are therefore identical to the Playstation 5: 80.3 kWh energy requirement per year and Costs from 29.95 euros for one hour of daily play. If you play for two hours, you have to reckon with 59.90 euros in energy costs.

The Xbox Series S is much more frugal and only consumes 100 watts per hour. This reduces consumption to 36.5 kWh per year and the costs to 13.61 euros for one hour and 27.22 euros for two hours of daily playtime.

Nintendo Switch

The Nintendo Switch is by far the most frugal console in this list, which is of course also due to the significantly inferior hardware. Nintendo itself states the energy consumption in TV mode as just 7 watts, but tests have shown that consumption can increase to up to 18 watts in graphically demanding games. Even with that figure, the Switch draws just 6.57 kWh per year if you play for an hour a day. Gamers can probably live well with the resulting electricity costs of 2.45 euros – even if they play two hours a day and thus have to pay 4.90 euros a year.

Tips for saving energy

The annual costs incurred by game consoles are still moderate compared to other household appliances, but can drive up the electricity bill quite a bit, especially for frequent gamers. Keep in mind that consumption will add to the unavoidable costs for washing machines, refrigerators, etc. that arise anyway. However, you can take a few steps to keep consumption as low as possible:

  1. Game consoles also consume energy in standby mode. The Xbox Series X, for example, up to 13 watts. That’s why you should always turn off your console or put it in battery saver mode whenever possible.

  2. If you stream films and series via your console, consumption is significantly higher than, for example, via a smart TV or a set-top box. When you stream a 4K video on Netflix through your PS5, the console consumes 70-80 watts. A Fire TV Stick from Amazon, on the other hand, only consumes around 4 watts.

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