Use them wisely and save!

A growing number of Québec families are buying game consoles for entertainment. However, because these consoles are energy hogs—especially the new-generation systems—their impact on electricity consumption is significant.

More powerful new-generation consoles

According to the latest report from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), newer game consoles, such as Sony’s PS5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, draw between 160 and 200 watts of electricity when they are used with new-generation games. They are much more powerful than previous models, such as the Xbox One, which requires 112 watts, or the PS4, which uses 137 watts of electricity.

These new video game consoles are much more powerful than older models, in part due to their state-of-the art processor and high-end graphic card. They also include entertainment and gaming features that require more power than ever before: data processing, graphic support, vocal activation, automatic start-up, network connectivity and more.

More power-hungry games

4K resolution, which applies to new-generation games in particular, requires four times more pixels than 1080p resolution. This draws additional power.

It has also been observed that energy use decreases when older games are played on the new consoles.

And that’s not all!


If you use a console to watch television or movies, it’s important to know that streaming videos uses a lot of electricity. To watching the same program, a console consumes 10 to 25 times more electricity than a TV, home theatre system or streaming device such as Apple TV, Roku or the Amazon Fire TV Stick.

The “instant on” feature of Microsoft’s Xbox Series is particularly deceiving. Although the console has an energy-saving setting that can be used to pause a game and carry out updates in standby mode, it can take 10 to 15 seconds to restart. With the instant on feature, gamers can resume their game in under five seconds, but the power used increases from 1 to 10 watts.

Consumption of new-generation game consoles according to usage while gaming or streaming

Consoles Résolution While gaming
Game mode
Amazon Prime
Xbox Series S 4K 160-200 watts 31 watts 41 watts
Xbox Series X 4K 160-200 watts 40-50 watts,
based on program resolution
40-50 watts
Xbox One 1080p 112 watts 74 watts N/A
PS5 4K 160-200 watts 68-70 watts,
based on program resolution
68-70 watts
PS4 1080p 137 watts 89 watts N/A

In addition, if you don’t take the extra step of turning off the console after switching off the TV, the console will continue to draw power at these high levels for an hour or more.

Tips for being energy wise

Regardless of which console you own, you can reduce its electricity consumption.

  • Turn it off completely when you’re not using it.
    • Did you know that 50% of the electricity consumed by a console is used when it’s on standby? You can save a lot just by enabling your console’s option to automatically turn itself off after an hour of inactivity.
    • Plug the console into a configurable outlet that will automatically cut power to it at specific times.
    • Another option: use a power bar equipped with a timer.
  • Consider turning off your console’s connectivity options if you don’t use them often.
    • Being constantly connected to the Internet to receive updates accounts for over half of your console’s consumption.

See also