Ever wondered how much it costs to play your PS4 or Xbox One?

When you go and purchase the latest gaming system, the last thing you probably consider is how much it will add to your energy bill. However latest figures revealed by British Gas have shown that the energy cost of gaming is four times more expensive than it used to be during the retro days.

Most household appliances will see a reduction in the amount of energy they use over the years as newer models become more energy efficient. However, currently running a PS4 or Xbox One in your household can add up to £43 to your energy bill. When  Mega Drives and Super Nintendos were all the rage, the cost of powering one was only £11 a year. That means that in 2015, running a console costs you more than it does to run your fridge, which costs around £18 a year.

According to British Gas, one pound’s worth of electricity provides you with enough power to run your Xbox One for roughly 22 hours whereas one pound’s worth of electricity will power a PlayStation 4 for 25 hours. That mean’s that the price of running an Xbox One per year is around the £43 mark, whereas Sony’s PlayStation 4 proves to be slightly more power efficient coming in at £35 annually. For comparison, £1 worth of power would give you 49 hours of play on a Sega Mega Drive while the Nintendo 64 would have been able to run for 48 hours.


If you’ve completed Fallout 4 recently, chances are it added £1.69 to your energy bill. Meanwhile, if you are looking to play a quick game of FIFA, expect to only pay a penny.

The main reason for the rise in cost of your energy bill is down to the fact that the current-gen of consoles require a lot more power than the consoles of old. Games are more demanding which means more power is needed to produce the huge and powerful games we have become used to. Not only that, but they come packed with more features and are used for more than just gaming.

Daniel Colford, Smart Energy Expert at British Gas, said: “While other modern household appliances like washing machines and fridges use less energy than they did twenty years ago, the cost of games consoles continue to rise. This is not surprising given how much more functionality games consoles now have.

“Whether you’re an occasional player or a seasoned pro, understanding how much it costs to use entertainment gadgets and other devices at home can be really useful.

“I’d also recommend making sure your console is properly turned off when not using it – if you have smart meters you can use your smart energy monitor to check whether you’ve left any devices on standby.”

Let’s be realistic though, I bet no one is going to worry too much about £43, giving that for the cost of one of the latest games, you get to be able to play your console as much as you want. Besides, I wonder how much those 50” TVs we all game on use?


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usinsider December 22, 2015 at 18:46

Interesting. Some gamers are actually frugal and will probably be interested to know this. There are after all people who do kinda weird things to save less money than that (e.g. http://howtoretireearly.net/the-crazy-stuff-ive-done-and-still-do-to-save-money/ )

D.G.M. December 22, 2015 at 19:03

Nothing like an article talking about energy efficiency to make me feel guilty for even owning a PS4. But seriously, this was an interesting article Stephen, well done 😉

Lara Croft December 23, 2015 at 08:58

Honestly people who are this energy conscious, would not even bother spending their time playing games. Video games are probably the last thing on their minds. It is weird that a PC uses less than a PS4 etc. But that’s probably a very basic PC.

Dirkster_Dude December 23, 2015 at 13:09

Unlikely and certainly not a PC made for gaming. Typical PC even if it isn’t for gaming has a minimum 250-300 watt power supply. XB1 has a 300 watt power supply and the PS4 is between 250-300 watts. The consoles are not necessarily using all that power at once this represents the maximum of electricity they can draw. A typical gaming PC could have a power supply between 500-1000 watts.

lulzprime December 23, 2015 at 09:16

Cool story.

Except people don’t understand that ironing your clothes or using the A/C costs much more in comparison to using… consoles.

Dynasty2021 December 23, 2015 at 11:35

As always when comparing PC prices to consoles, peasants always forget to add the price of their 2nd controller, their TV, their couch, their headphones and their surround sound system.

PC gaming is cheaper. Get over it.

Melody Lewis August 1, 2016 at 19:45

Who are you arguing with you pathetic little fan boy? Just to indulge you though. What about the price of your mouse and keyboard, desk and chair, and your headphones or surround system. Also I use my couch tv and surround system for other things too. Dickhead.

The PS4 is rapidly becoming the living room device of choice - Make Smart TV December 28, 2015 at 22:10

[…] should take into account the electricity costs as well. A recent report said it costs roughly $50 in electricity to run the PS4 for the average user. That’s way more than our android box uses, and the Android box is on all year […]

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