Which Video Game Console Is Most Energy Efficient?

During the holidays, one of the most popular purchases is a video gaming console. Long gone are the days when simple systems allowed you to chase a dot around the screen. Today’s video games are sophisticated, lifelike, and even good for your health.

Although the pricetag is a big issue when people try to decide between the most popular video game systems, it’s important to remember that the cost of the system doesn’t end at the cash register. These consoles demand a considerable amount of power to deliver top performance, and if you’re not paying attention, they could end up costing you hundreds in excess energy usage.

That’s why the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) recently tested three top-selling video game systems to find out where they ranked in terms of power consumption. And the winner?

Results from the experiment showed that a Nintendo Wii system uses six times less power than a Sony PlayStation 3 or Microsoft Xbox 360 in active mode.

EPRI tested each system for one hour of active play using EA Sports’ Madden 2011 football game, which is widely played on all three game consoles. EPRI found that the Nintendo Wii system used an average of 13.7 watts, the Sony PlayStation 3 used an average of 84.8 watts, and the Microsoft Xbox 360 used an average of 87.9 watts.

“We included only a small sample of the many gaming systems available, but it reveals that the differences in energy use can be significant,” said Mark McGranaghan, vice president of Power Delivery & Utilization for EPRI.  “With the holiday shopping season in full swing, now is a good time to consider this factor.”

The EPRI tests also found that all the three systems now demand less power than their earlier versions. The 2006 Nintendo Wii consumed an average of 16.4 watts while the 2007 Sony PlayStation 3 consumed 150.1 watts and the 2007 Microsoft Xbox consumed 118.8 watts.

EPRI also looked at the efficiency of each system’s power supply. The Wii and Xbox systems use external power supplies with measured efficiencies exceeding 80 percent, which is considered “highly efficient” within the electronics industry. The PlayStation 3 has an internal power supply integrated in the circuit board, which could not be removed from the console for testing.

“While the overall trend is toward more efficient electronics, these tests clearly show that if you’re a power-conscious consumer you may want to ask questions or check more closely,” said McGranaghan.

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Image Credit: Flickr – MNgilen


Davidotunga D.
Davidotunga D.3 years ago

Hi to all, the blog has really the dreadful information I really enjoyed a lot. online virtual games for kids

Stephanie I.

Thanks for the article.

Linus Schonnings
Linus Schonnings7 years ago

it sucks that the 360 use most electricity

gerlinde p.
gerlinde p7 years ago

only use the wii when on a visit at my daughter`s

Novinha L.
.7 years ago

Interesting. Thanks!

Danuta W.
Danuta W7 years ago


Mary B.
Jillian Bradley7 years ago

I must echo Lupe G.. That's great. We use the wii as family time activities.

Theresa C.
Theresa C7 years ago

Good to know! Thanks

Lupe G.
Guadalupe G7 years ago

WOW, THIS ONE SURPRISED ME; THANKS! I got the WII for the more active, family-oriented games & now I am rewarded as I felt a little guilty! : S