PS5 and Xbox Series X have drawn criticism from the Natural Resources Council for the amount of energy that each console consumes, with a report finding the power draw is much higher than the last generation of consoles.
The report notes that both consoles draw more energy than televisions, traditionally a high power sink item.
PS5 and Xbox Series X Draw Criticism For Energy Usage
"When playing the latest games, the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5 consoles draw between 160 and 200-plus watts of electricity, which is higher than earlier generation consoles," the report states.
"That’s more power than the huge 60-inch TV it might be connected to uses! The good news is that these consoles draw significantly lower power levels when playing games designed for older consoles and are backward compatible. The entry-level Xbox Series S drew lower power levels during game play than the other three new consoles."
The report specifically points to the ability to switch to streaming media, which apparently takes 30 to 70 watts.
For context, that's 10 to 25 times the amount of energy used by the likes of an Amazon Fire Stick.
The report also notes that turning off the "Instant On" power option could save a lot of money – and the planet.
"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 U.S. Xbox owners roughly $1 billion on their electricity bills," it says.
That "seemingly inconsequential decision" is that Microsoft activates "Instant On" in all territories by default (except Europe).
There has been no response from Sony or Microsoft at the time of writing.