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Gaming Consoles Deliver Excitement, Value for the Energy Buck

Palo Alto, Dec. 16, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As holiday gift giving is upon us, the engineers at the Electric Power Research Institute decided to satisfy their curiosity about how much electricity the latest gaming consoles consume, which required product testing, of course.

The evaluation of the newest and hottest gaming consoles shows that three of the most popular units use more electricity during gaming sessions than previous models - but still cost less than $5 per-year to operate - and offer more memory, more hard-drive storage and more colorful and vivid graphics for consumer enjoyment.

An EPRI research team compared the energy consumption of the Microsoft Xbox One™, Sony PlayStation®4 (PS4™), and the Nintendo Wii U™ consoles while running the popular game Call of Duty®: Ghosts. In a head-to-head, hour-long test - the Wii U consumed 30 watt-hours (Wh) of electricity. Xbox One measured in at 105 Wh, and PS4 weighed in at 124 Wh.

Each of the consoles consumed more energy than the previous versions that were tested by EPRI in 2010, but add features and fun that require a bit more electricity to operate. For example, Xbox One allows a player to start playing within minutes as games install, and allows the system to update in the background without interrupting playing time. The PS4 offers the ability to play with friends remotely as if they are in the same room, and Wii U offers a variety of home entertainment options all controlled from its remote gamepad.

"Household devices such as gaming consoles, computers, and other appliances make up a good percentage of a home's electricity use," said Jeffrey Dols, the engineer who led the project at EPRI's Knoxville, Tenn., laboratory. "While five bucks a year is a great value for entertainment, consumers still have an opportunity to save money and conserve energy by turning off or unplugging these household devices while not in use."

The chart below shows the annual energy consumption and costs for each console, assuming a national average cost of 12 cents-per-kilowatt-hour for electricity.

Device *Annual Energy Use (kWh) Annual Energy Cost
Xbox One: 34.39 $4.17
PS4: 40.62 $4.92
Wii U: 9.82 $1.19

*Annual energy use estimate assumes 6.3 hours-per-week of gameplay.

Here's how the consoles stack up against the annual energy use of other common household devices:

*Device Annual Energy Use (kWh) Annual Energy Cost
Desktop PC: 185.48 $22.48
SetTopBox: 113.32 $13.73
TV: 166.75 $20.21

* Represents national average for all household devices (Source: EIA Annual Energy Outlook 2014: http://www.eia.gov/forecasts/aeo/)

About EPRI:

The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI) conducts research and development relating to the generation, delivery and use of electricity for the benefit of the public. An independent, nonprofit organization, EPRI brings together its scientists and engineers as well as experts from academia and industry to help address challenges in electricity, including reliability, efficiency, affordability, health, safety and the environment. EPRI also provides technology, policy and economic analyses to drive long-range research and development planning, and supports research in emerging technologies. EPRI's members represent approximately 90 percent of the electricity generated and delivered in the United States, and international participation extends to more than 30 countries. EPRI's principal offices and laboratories are located in Palo Alto, Calif.; Charlotte, N.C.; Knoxville, Tenn.; and Lenox, Mass. All trademarks and trade names are the properties of their respective owners.

CONTACT: Clay C. Perry clperry@epri.com 202.293.6184 Annie Haas ahaas@epri.com 704.595.2980 Source:Electric Power Research Institute(EPRI)