Skip to main content

Wii ranked most energy efficient console, for those who care

Sure, it doesn't have a Blu-ray player, a centralized online community, or even the ability to display HD graphics, but at least the Wii is keeping your energy bill low.

The Electronic Power Research Institute decided to see how much power each video game console guzzled up in one hour. The test game used was the latest installment in the Madden NFL franchise.

The fact that the Wii ranked at the bottom of the list should surprise no one, but just how much of a discrepancy there was between the Nintendo system and those of Microsoft and Sony, is kind of shocking. Here are the results of energy usage during one hour of play time:

Wii - 13.7 watts
PS3 - 84.8 watts
Xbox 360 - 87.9 watts

So those who only play the Wii are using up about 16% of the energy that someone on a PS3 or Xbox 360 is using for the same amount of time. But that's nothing compared to the old days. While the Wii's energy efficiency has only shifted by a couple watts since the device first came out, the initial models of the competing consoles were extreme power hogs. Here were the numbers for the same test on the consoles from 2007:

Wii - 16.4 watts
Xbox 360 - 118.8 watts
PS3 - 150.1 watts

"There are ... tradeoffs associated with graphics and speed that drive higher energy use and consumers will need to factor those elements in as well. The more graphically intensive systems will, by design, require more energy," said the energy group's VP Mark McGranaghan.

While this seems like a nice thing for Nintendo to boast about, it is sort of also an admission that its console is much less powerful, in terms of performance, than the others. But that's what marketing spin people are all about, so maybe the PR dudes at Nintendo can turn this into an extremely positive thing. After all, they need to find some way to keep pepople interested in the Wii.


Dec 16, 2010