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Gaming consoles use massive amounts of energy in standby mode

It shouldn’t surprise you to hear that the Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and Wii U require large amounts of electricity. What might come as a shock is just how much of that juice is spent while the consoles are resting in standby mode. According to a report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, over the course of a year the latest generation of consoles will dedicate more energy use to streaming video and the barebones functionality of standby mode than they will playing actual video games. 

The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One’s standby modes and video capabilities are responsible for the vast increases in power usage over their previous-generation versions, according to a new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council. The NRDC, a nonprofit environmental advocacy group, conducted extensive testing last month with the PS4, Wii U and Xbox One to determine the consoles’ power consumption across a variety of functions. The organization collected its findings in a report called “The Latest-Generation Video Game Consoles: How Much Energy Do They Waste When You’re Not Playing?” Prior to this report, the most recent NRDC paper on game console power usage came in 2008. Headlining the new NRDC report is a staggering figure: If the PS4, Wii U and Xbox One replace the 110 million units of PlayStation 3, Wii and Xbox 360 consoles that were sold in the U.S. from 2005 through 2013, the total energy use of the three current-generation systems will top 10 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year — enough to power all of Houston, the nation’s fourth-largest city.

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Written by Sal McCloskey

Sal McCloskey is a tech blogger in Los Angeles who (sadly) falls into the stereotype associated with nerds. Yes, he's a Star Trek fan and writes about it on Uberly. His glasses are thick and his allergies are thicker. Despite all that, he's (somehow) married to a beautiful woman and has 4 kids. Find him on Twitter or Facebook,

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