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Conservationists to Gamers: Turn Off Your PS3 After Use!

Posted by: Kenji Hall on November 19

Video game consoles left running round-the-clock can send your annual electricity bill soaring. That’s probably no surprise for most gamers. But the Natural Resources Defense Council, a New York-based conservation group, has conducted a study of gaming machine energy use to raise awareness among gamers and pressure manufacturers into making more energy-efficient machines.

The NRDC’s study found that Xbox 360, PlayStation 3 and Wii machines in the U.S. use about as much electricity in a year as every home in San Diego combined. Much of the energy comes from machines that are left on, but not in use, the NRDC said. Of the three consoles, Sony’s PS3 was the biggest energy hog, followed by Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Nintendo’s Wii is by far the most energy efficient—and even uses less electricity than its predecessor, GameCube.

With more efficient devices and by utilizing existing power-saving features, consumers could save more than $1 billion a year on utility bills and reduce as much global warming pollution per year as the tailpipe emissions from all the cars in San Jose. Specifically, automatic power-down features – which shut off devices if they are left idle for a certain amount of time – are big energy-savers. The feature exists in the Xbox 360 and was recently added to the PlayStation 3, but it is rarely used and leaves room for improvement.

Check out the report:

Reader Comments


November 20, 2008 12:06 PM

First of all - Make me. Second of all, my PS3 stays on, for Folding at Home. My right, my electrical bill. My problem. Thirdly, if you have a problem with the carbon footprint that the national energy network causes, then, by all means, I urge you to work towards finding alternative energy sources that produce less emissions. However, to proclaim that the PS3's energy use directly correlates to a carbon footprint, is misleading, and takes the responsibility from the energy creators, to the consumers. Sorry, that dog just won't hunt. Stop creating energy through polluting means, and this won't be an issue. You think that when I turn my PS3 on....somewhere in the world a generator starts up and starts making this energy while pumping emissions into the atmosphere? Or...the more likely scenario is...the energy is already there, the pollution has already been made, and my PS3 is just using power that someone else would. Fix the overall problem, stop trying to put bandaids over it, by impacting my life.



November 20, 2008 12:24 PM

The newest system update on the PS3 has a power saving feature that will shut it down when not in use. This should help considerably if people turn that feature on.

Not Power Hungry

November 20, 2008 02:58 PM

Yeah, it isn't just those game consoles, but also computers. I'm not sure what the draw of the typical console is, but if you figure that power supplies (PSU) ranging between 450W and 1000W are the most common, that is a heck of a draw, even in hybernation.

Ages ago, I had a 150W PSU, in a machine that ran 24/7. After it failed, the replacement was rated at 200W and I noticed my electric bill jumped considerably.

Funny nobody mentions PC's, just game consoles...


November 20, 2008 08:04 PM

No thanks... I will leave mine running. I do a lot of Folding@Home to help find a cure for Cancer... And seeing as my brother died last night from prostate cancer... I will pay the extra money to try and do some good for others.

And yeah... isnt it amazing...just mention of PS3s... not a single mention of all the other "vampires" in a household... That cable box, the clock on the coffee pot I never look at for time, the stand by lights on my TVs, lap top, PC, the auto off light on my iron, etc...

And I fully agree with Mornelithe.
Why they never associate PS3's "hogging" with Folding@Home is beyond me... Maybe they should look to other consoles as our energy use is an attempt to make a change.

The Future of Sega

November 20, 2008 09:29 PM

To all of you who said "Wha wha wha no I'm keep my PweeS3 on!" Stop acting like bitches and be a part of society for once you outkasts!

All of that energy could be used for better resources and technologies. Video games are for losers. There comes a part and time in your life that you have to mature and grow up from playing kiddy video games.

And you guys are totally insane if you think a video game console is going to birth a cure for cancer. HA HA HA LMFAO.

And finally, I think the government should put a limit on how much energy is used. 3 hours of gaming a day should be allowed. After that the government should shut off the power for the rest of the day.


November 20, 2008 10:58 PM

Holy stop being an a** TFOS!

Let people do what they wanna do, the energy crisis is Obama's to figure out here in the States, and then us citizens will follow.

But you going around telling people what to do, it's not any different than someone telling you you shouldn't work for the government or YOU SHOULD be playing CONSOLES for Video Game Nerds.

Stop the harassment. Let people be.

I stand my ground by saying that my PS3 doesn't stay on after it's not being used (i.e. when I leave for work or to a movie or something outside my home) When I am home, I'm either playing the MP3 playback, looking up news articles like these on my internet browser, or watching a flick. Rarely am I gonna turn it off while playing a GAME. So, to conserve power, turn off a lamp or light downstairs that's ALWAYS on, or turn off that running laptop or PC that's never in use anymore. Yeah, that's what I would do. :) Happy gaming.

Are You Dumb?

November 21, 2008 01:27 AM

"And finally, I think the government should put a limit on how much energy is used. 3 hours of gaming a day should be allowed. After that the government should shut off the power for the rest of the day."

Pretty sure communism is for you buddy


November 21, 2008 01:40 AM

I find this information very misleading, because an efficient computer is a computer that uses a minimum amount of energy to to do a certain amount of calculations. So think about it... The Wii only uses like 20 watts, compare it to the 360 (over 100 watts) and the 360 is actually more then 5 times power hungry but it is also a lot more powerful. That means it's more energy efficient! The PS3 uses around 130 watts but can perform a lot more then the 360, this makes it the most effiecent! The energy usage of all the machines is very good! My laptop, the "fat beast", uses 150 watts of power, more then all of them yet I would argue it's performance is worse then the PS3 and mabye the 360... Besides, all electronics have become more energy efficient, because they keep getting more powerful but only use a little more power, the same or less. These people are just blaming us, rathet then the huge electrical companies that could make there energy a cleaner way!


November 21, 2008 06:40 AM

Those people with Quad core SLI 1000w PSU setups should feel ashamed of them selves! lol


November 21, 2008 08:53 AM

I always shut off my electronic gear after use, game consoles, tvs, dvds, music equip., etc.

My computer is on all day but thats because I use it all day (though I put it in low energy sleep mode when I'm away from it).

Yeah, yeah, yeah I heard all the non-sense about leaving things on makes them last longer (though I have never seen a case where this is actually true in my life or any conclusive evidence.)

I understand people have the right to leave there electronics on all the time and yes, it's their electric bill. But is it responsible? Is it smart? I think not.


November 21, 2008 11:11 AM

you know its actually possible for countries to make it illegal for 'vampires' such as ALL of these gaming systems to be OFF when turned OFF

to really turn it off I have to reach behind it and throw a switch...

and I have no intention of doing so

This should be legislation business week

your talking to the wrong crowd


November 21, 2008 11:32 PM

It's all relative.

users dad

November 23, 2008 11:14 PM

yeah, your energy use and your bill but not your planet. our planet and you might tear yourself away from bioshock for long enough to notice it every once in awhile.

as for all that stuff about "let people alone", well think of it this way - do you let people alone when they are pissing in the well that everybody in the village uses for drinking water?

We are way past the point where this kind of self-indulgent, sophomoric anarchism is even close to a reasonable excuse. deliberately and knowingly wasting energy is a crime whether or not our legal system recognizes it as such.

look outside boys; there's a world out there. but put on a clean pair of boxers first, please...


November 25, 2008 06:19 AM

Users dad,
You sir, are an idiot. Wasting power is a crime?! Whats wrong with you? I'll tell you what, the next time you speed, or leave a light on, report yourself to the police. Lead the way! Show us what your made of! Odds are, you are one of those morons who wants to tell me how to run my life without impacting your own...

I'm sick of this "quit using energy and save the planet BS". The only reason you have the right or the time to complain is because of the freedom of our country. Take away power (gas, oil, electricity, what have ya)and your going to be groveling in the dirt trying to feed your family like everyone else in a third world country.

Now excuse me while I kick some butt in COD..


December 10, 2008 03:40 PM


my ps3 is on right now, but i'm on my pc downstairs nowhere near it. why? well in an hour or so i will be able to go upstairs and sit in bed without the hassel of pressing the ps button on the middle of the pad and waiting the whole 30 seconds for it to switch on. i pay for the simple convenience but in my opinion well worth it.

go practice totalitarian philosophy in a place where it is acceptable...may i suggest north korea.


December 12, 2008 10:08 AM

Sorry but i support Folding@home with the PS3 that requires me to have my ps3 on 24-7 i pay the bill and uch rather contribute to cancer research using the advanced cell in my gaming system then just play games.


December 22, 2008 10:36 PM

Morons = The MMGWarming dirt worshiping, sheep who proclaim the current record cold temps are proof that their God is under attack..

They have become the religeous, apocolyptic fanatics of the present.

(petitionprogect)33thousand scientist, 9thousand with phd..expose the lie of the mmgw propagandists who have a financial interest in doom's day prophesies.

Bah bah bah.. carry on sheeeep.


December 29, 2008 04:30 AM

look up newtons 3rd law

Brandon Boland

January 19, 2009 02:57 PM

Users Dad,
is an idiot and the guy that called him an idiot is hilarious. so overall users dad is an 1D01T

BOland again

January 19, 2009 02:59 PM

Crometooth is hilarious

Thank you for your interest. This blog is no longer active.



No longer child's play, the booming global games market is worth billions of dollars. In Games, Inc., BusinessWeek Innovation writer Matt Vella and Tokyo correspondent Kenji Hall analyze emerging business trends in video games and interactive entertainment. They’ll examine everything from button-mashing, chart-topping, console games to serious games commissioned by big corporations to train staff. They’ll also map the evolution of expansive virtual worlds and go behind the strategies at companies that are turning play into big business.

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