PS4 Energy consumption: how much your PS4 costs you (and what you can do about it)
I’ve been recently hammered with a high electricity bill, and decided to look into our house’s appliances to detect which devices where to blame. This gave me a pretty detailed idea of how much electricity my PS4 uses. Below I’m sharing my findings, the real cost of keeping your PS4 in “standby” mode, and what you can do about it.
To measure my PS4’s electricity usage, I bought a tiny device called the Kill A Watt. It’s a super easy to use device, in which I can plug any of my electric devices to check how much energy they use. I estimate that I will make back the money from that device within 6 months thanks to what I found and the savings I’ll make. More expensive versions exist but I went with the best seller (at the time of this writing) on Amazon.
Here’s what I found:
- In normal “in menu” use, the PS4 uses about 70 Watt
- In Game, the PS4 uses an average of 140 Watt
- When streaming a movie (e.g. on Netflix or amazon Video), my PS4 uses 90 Watt on average
- In standby mode, the PS4 uses a bit less than 10 Watt
- In standby mode with 2 controllers charging, the PS4 uses 11 Watt.
That’s for the PS4 itself. As a matter of comparison, I’ve measured that my Android set top box uses about 10 Watt no matter what I do with it, my laptop uses about 70 Watt in activity, and my TV, a 2009 Plasma 40”, uses an insane 240 Watt (your typical LED TV, I’ve been told, should use about 70 Watt. Ouch, wth is wrong with my plasma screen???).
Let’s forget about my TV for a minute here, and assume you’re playing on a “regular” LED TV. Your gaming session will use approximately 210 Watt (140 Watt for the PS4 + 70 Watt for the TV). A 2h gaming session will use 420 watt-hour, costing you about 5 cents (using 12 cents per Kilowatt-hour as the average price in the US. Prices might be significantly different in your country. You’d pay almost double in Japan, for example). A US gamer playing 2 hours a day every day will spend about $18 in electricity a year for their gaming addiction.
With my stupid TV, this increases to $35 a year. Not enough to justify buying a replacement, but still.
Keeping your PS4 in standby mode constantly will cost you $10 a year. This isn’t huge, but think about it twice: if, like me, one of the only reasons you use your PS4 in standby mode is to charge your PS4 controllers, know that you can charge these controllers directly like any other usb-charged device (e.g. your phone), for about $0.5 a year. Yes, 20 times less.
If you use your PS4 mostly for streaming, you might also want to rethink your habits: at 90 Watt, compared to an Android set top box running on 10 Watt, you’ll spend roughly $8 more every year (assuming someone streaming 2 hours a day). That’s one month of Netflix right there.
To summarize, in the US, given the low prices of electricity, the PS4 power usage won’t kill your budget, but there are a few things you can do to save up to $30 a year (hey, don’t judge, that’s an additional AAA game right there! And think of how much you’re helping the planet too). This could also be super useful in other countries where electricity might not be as cheap:
- If you use your PS4 mostly for streaming, reconsider your choice. a Low-end laptop or an android set top box will stream the same content at a fraction of the electricity cost.
- Avoid using your PS4 in standby mode if you just need to charge your controllers. Charge them directly
- Don’t stupidly buy an old plasma TV like I did 🙂
The Kill-a-watt that I bought was also used to measure a bunch of other appliances in the house, and based on these measures, with a few tweaks I expect to save about $50 a year on my electricity bill. Pretty cool device IMO.
On a side note, I found that a plasma TV uses much more electricity when it displays bright stuff. People with the right background in electronics probably knew this already, but it was a discovery to me: reducing the brightness of the screen actually reduced the electricity usage quite significantly. Duh!