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Why new consoles may use 'three times more' energy than their predecessors

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The PlayStation 4 and Xbox One could result in "up to three times higher annual energy consumption" than the last generation, the Natural Resources Defense Council reports.

Both consoles do include features that help minimize energy loss and are more energy efficient than past generations. However, their higher performance and functions require more energy. According to the NRDC, the Xbox One alone could rack up $150 over five years in electricity costs for a single home.

"... The consoles may still use up to three times more energy than their most recent predecessors because of a combination of factors," the NRDC wrote. "They use more power to play games and watch movies, and use that power over a longer period of time, particularly while in sleep mode (called Connected Standby) when you may not even be in the room or charging accessories, and in TV mode, when you use the Xbox One to control the TV."

To reduce energy cost, consoles could be easily modified with software enhancements. Other improvements include lowering a console's energy cost while on standby or power requirements for streaming content.

You can view the full breakdown, including how much energy each system uses during specific functions, on the NRDC's website.