The PlayStation 5 and the Xbox Series X each draw 160 to 200+ watts of electricity when used, which is higher than their predecessors and more power than a 60-inch TV. That's according to the US' Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental nonprofit organisation that measured the energy consumed by next-gen consoles and today published a lengthy report on the topic. The report recognised the platform holders efforts to reduce power consumption when the consoles are in rest mode, only drawing one watt or lower when that's the case, but also highlighted the impact of features such as Xbox's Instant-on mode, which is enabled by default when the console ships. "Based on modeling NRDC performed through 2025, this one seemingly inconsequential decision by Microsoft could result in the equivalent of one large (500 MW) coal-burning power plant's worth of annual electricity generation and cost new US Xbox owners roughly $1 billion on their electricity bills," wrote senior scientist at the NRDC Noah Horowitz. "Given that there is very minimal user benefit from Instant-on, it's surprising that Microsoft -- which publicly announced that 'by 2030 Microsoft will be carbon negative... and launch an initiative around the world to help their suppliers and customers reduce their carbon footprints' -- does not ship its consoles with the energy savings option enabled by default (and perhaps remove the 'instant on' choice during the initial set-up). Such a change could happen almost overnight with just a few lines of new code."
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