How much it costs to power PS5 and Xbox Series S/X

Do you know how much money you’re spending powering your consoles? As we head into a winter of unprecedented energy prices in the UK, it’s a question that couldn’t be more relevant.

To find out, we collaborated with hardware experts Digital Foundry to run a series of tests to determine how much energy each console uses, per hour, doing a range of different things: in standby mode, idling on the menu, playing a game, and so ten. Digital Foundry’s Tom Morgan then recorded the numbers in a table for this article.

There are a few things worth noting about the numbers. The electricity price we used to calculate costs is 34 pence per kilowatt hour (kWh), because that’s the current cap for a unit of electricity in the UK.

We haven’t included gaming PCs in our roundup because there are too many variables involved when testing them, and we haven’t included TV or AVR equipment power use for similar reasons, although it’s absolutely worth considering them when at home.

It’s also worth noting that the PlayStation 5 used in our tests is a launch model, but there have been two hardware revisions since then. And when the newest model was tested by the reputable Austin Evans, it was recorded as drawing 20-30w less while gaming, which is significant. There haven’t, as far as we’re aware, been any such revisions to Xbox Series S or X hardware.

Here are the numbers, then, which we’ll discuss section by section below.

One Hour Use

(Cost in Pence)
PlayStation 5

(1000 models)
Xbox Series X Xbox Series S Nintendo Switch
Off 0.1W

0.005 pence
0.2W

0.01 pence
0.2W

0.01 pence
0.1 – 3.5W (charging)

0.01 – 0.12 pence
Rest mode 3.3W

0.12 pence

£9.83 per year (left in this state)

7.4W

0.25 pence

£22.04 per year

7.6W

0.26 pence

£22.6 per year

3.5W

0.12 pence

£10.4 per year
Rest mode + background download 44.3W

1.51 pence
28.7W

0.98 pence
21.7W

0.74 pence
5.9W

0.20 pence
Main menu (idle) 57.4W (or 47W after 10 mins)

1.95 pence (1.60 pence)
41.8W (or 45W after 10 mins)

1.42 pence (1.53 pence)
28.3W

0.96 pence
7.8W

0.27 pence
Netflix streaming 80.0W

2.72 pence
44.8W

1.52 pence
44.5W

1.51 pence
NA
Overwatch 2 190-220W

7.31 pence
150-170W

5.60 pence
65-77W

2.51 pence
12-19W

0.57 pence
Cyberpunk 2077

(Performance mode)
215-230W

7.54 pence
170-190W

6.12 pence
80-84W

2.78 pence
NA

Off

Even when told to turn off completely, your consoles still draw power, although it’s a negligibly small amount. EU regulations state that electronic devices like these cannot draw more than 0.5w while in a specified ‘off’ mode.

Incidentally, were a device to draw 0.5w every year, it would cost you £1.49.

Rest modes

These are the most eye-opening results, because we know we use power to play games, but do we know we’re spending as much as £22.70 a year to keep some machines in standby mode?

The Xbox figures stand out, then, but it’s worth pointing out the Sleep mode pulling that power was Standby mode, which used to be called Instant-On. As of March this year, Xbox Series S and X offer two Sleep modes, the other one being “Energy saver”.

Energy saver effectively turns the Xboxes off, putting them into their off power state, where they draw 0.2w. It then wakes the consoles up once a day to check for updates and then download them if necessary. Exactly when Xboxes wake up and do this was a detail we didn’t previously know – once every 24 hours and possibly during a maintenance window was the most specific detail Microsoft had given.

I put this to Microsoft, looking for clarification, and I got it. “In energy saving mode, the console wakes up once a day during typical inactive hours (2-6 AM in the consoles local time), to check for system and game and app updates,” a Microsoft spokesperson told me. It’s an important detail because energy prices can be cheaper – depending on your tariff – during those off-peak times.

A screenshot of the power options available on Xbox Series S and X.

A screenshot of the PlayStation 5 power options.

A screenshot of the PlayStation 5 power options, as seen in the menus on the machine.

What the power options look like on Xbox Series X/S and PlayStation 5.

By spending the bulk of their time off, Xboxes will draw up to 20 times less power in this mode than in Standby mode, but it will also take up to 45 seconds to turn your Xbox on when you want to use it.

Energy saver is the Sleep mode Microsoft wants you to use on Xbox Series S/X, and it’s the default mode those Xboxes are now set to.

There are options for Rest mode on PS5, too. You can choose how long to – or whether to – supply power through the USB ports, and whether to connect to the Internet. We tested Rest mode with these options turned on.

Rest mode + background download

Naturally, when your console needs to install things, or do things, it starts drawing more electricity to power them. So the logic follows that the more games you have installed to update, the more often you’ll need to do it.

Remember that your machine will only be in a heightened state of rest while downloading, which means the faster your connection, the less time this will be.

Main menu (idle)

I’m sure I’m not the only person who leaves a console idling while I do something else. But even though the consoles have idle modes, they don’t draw much less power. There’s a curious jump in power on the Xbox machines after 10 minutes because that’s when Achievement pop-ups start appearing, trying to tempt you back in.

Both PS5 and Xbox have customizable off timers, which cover playing games, watching media or consoles left idling.

Netflix streaming

I only recently upgraded to a television with streaming apps built in. Before that, I used consoles to stream video. There are benefits to it. I found the apps quicker and more responsive, and as Tom Morgan tells me, consoles have better audio-out options for things like 5.1 support.

However, they do use a chunk of energy, particularly on PS5, especially when you consider a Chromecast uses about 2w at peak load.

Oh, and we’re not testing other streaming services because they’re a side note, and Netflix can happily represent them all.

Overwatch 2

It’s a gift to find a new game that’s available natively on all four consoles. It’s also lovely to be able to watch the same in-game replay in all versions of the game, making for very controlled testing conditions.

Overwatch 2’s power-draw varies depending on what you see in the game, hence the variable range in the figures. Overall, the Overwatch 2 results are fairly typical of a mid-range power-draw game.

Cyberpunk 2077

We got our figures here by playing the opening hour of the game on the three different consoles, and in the demanding Performance mode. The power-draw remained high no matter what we did.


The biggest takeaway, then, is to be aware of what your consoles are doing when you’re not using them. If you have an Xbox, check which Sleep mode it’s using, and consider switching to Energy saver. And if you have a PS5, know that you can customize which Rest mode functions you want turned on. Also, check your off timers.

It’s also worth reminding you that gaming on desktop PCs uses significantly more power than consoles – sometimes double or more. We talked about PC power use in our environmental study published last year. As a gauge, Scan computers recently worked out that playing one of its high-end PCs for eight hours a week would cost £87 in electricity a year. There are some PC standby comparison figures in that article too, compared with PS5, and they’re higher but still negligible over the course of a year. And PCs benefit from not having built-in ‘I’m not really asleep’ rest modes.

We hope this better informs you about what you’re spending this autumn, and beyond, on powering your gaming. If you have any questions, we’ll try to answer them in the comments below

Incidentally, all three platform holders provide power consumption numbers of their own – Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation – as part of a voluntary agreement.

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