Power Consumption Comparison of the Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation 5 - How Energy-Efficient Is Nintendo Switch?

Power Consumption Comparison of the Switch, Xbox, and PlayStation 5 - How Energy-Efficient Is Ninten ...

If you're living in a country with high electricity bills, or you want to reduce your overall expenditure, or even help to preserve the environment (every little helps!), you may want to turn off your consoles, particularly since a prominent British energy company recently called them "vampires" and advised us to turn them off completely.

Whether or not it's a fair assessment, the fact is that a great many of us are eager to tighten our belts as the worldwide cost-of-living epidemic creeps into all aspects of our lives, and any household device that's constantly connected to the mains is worth investigating to see what can be achieved.

Do you currently have your console(s) in instant-on mode? Sleep mode? Energy saving mode? Do you know how much each console costs you in the first place? We can assist you.

Check out our guide to console efficiency and energy efficiency, as well as tips on how to reduce the amount of money you'll be paying each month.

On this page:

How Much Power Does My Switch / Xbox / PlayStation Use in a Console Power Consumption Comparison?

Below you'll find important information for each Nintendo Switch model currently on sale, as well as Sony and Microsoft's consoles, as well as some per-hour and per-week energy estimates based on industry data and other sources.

Before we begin, here are a few notes:

UsageEnergy DrawCost per hourCost per week estimates
Playing games7-11W0.010.08 (2h a day)
Playing while charging15-17W0.010.06 (1h a day)
Streaming media6W<0.010.02 (1h a day)
On the Home menu3W<0.01<0.01 (1h a week)
Sleep mode0.3-0.5W<0.010.04 (20h a day)
Sleep mode (charging)9.8-12.1W<0.010.04 (1h a day)
Power off0.3-0.5W<0.010.04 (20 hours a day)
UsageEnergy DrawCost per hourCost per week estimates
Playing while charging8-9W0.030.06 (2h a day)
Sleep mode (charging)8-9W0.030.06 (2h a day)
  • 0.08 (1h a day playtime) 0.30 (5h a day playtime)

The Switch Lite isn't dockable, so the key consideration is how much power it consumes when you're playing a game and charging.

UsageEnergy DrawCost per hourCost per week estimates
Playing games5-7.5W0.030.05 (2h a day)
Playing while charging7.5-13.5W0.050.05 (1h a day)
Sleep mode (charging)~13W0.050.09 (2h a day)
  • 0.10 (1h a day playtime) 0.30 (5h a day playtime)

Nintendo did not indicate an energy draw for the OLED when charging, but we can assume it's more or less similar to the Nintendo Switch base model. Please accept these as you may. We also only have figures for docked mode.

UsageEnergy DrawCost per hourCost per week estimates
Playing games6W0.020.04 (2h a day)
Streaming media5W0.020.02 (1h a day)
On the Home menu3W0.01<0.01 (1h a week)
Sleep mode0.3-0.5W (WiFi)2.2W (wired)<0.01 (WiFi)0.01 (wired)0.04 (20h a day)0.16 (20h a day)
Power off0.3-0.5W<0.010.04 (20h a day)
  • 0.08 (1h a day playtime) 0.25 (5h a day playtime)

Here are the prices for the Xbox Series S/X and the PlayStation5 (from Xbox and Sony's sites) as a comparison:

UsageEnergy DrawCost per hourCost per week estimates
Playing games153W0.081.09 (2h a day)
Streaming47W0.020.34 (2h a day)
Instant-On mode13W0.010.93 (20h a day)
Standby0.5W<0.010.04 (20h a week)
  • 1.62 (1h a day playtime/Instant On) 3.61 (5h a day playtime/Instant On)
UsageEnergy DrawCost per hourCost per week estimates
Playing games74W0.040.53 (2h a day)
Streaming31W0.020.22 (2h a day)
Instant-On mode10W0.010.71 (20h a day)
Standby0.4W<0.010.03 (20h a day)
  • 1.08 (1h a day playtime/Instant On) 2.00 (5h a day playtime/Instant On)
UsageEnergy DrawCost per hourCost per week estimates
Playing games200W0.101.43 (2h a day)
Streaming54W0.030.39 (2h a day)
Standby2W<0.010.14 (20h a day)
  • 0.87 (1h a day playtime) 3.71 (5h a day playtime)

Quick Comparison Table between Switch and Xbox / PlayStation

To illustrate the main differences between the 'flagship' consoles from the major three manufacturers, we'll summarize the following information:

ConsoleUsageEnergy DrawCost per hourCost per week estimates
Switch OLEDPlaying games6W0.020.04 (2h a day)
PS5Playing games200W0.101.43 (2h a day)
Xbox Series XPlaying games153W0.081.09 (2h a day)
Switch OLEDStandby/Sleep0.3-0.5W (WiFi)2.2W (wired)<0.01 (WiFi)0.01 (wired)0.04 (20h a day)0.16 (20h a day)
PS5Standby/Sleep2W<0.010.14 (20h a day)
Xbox Series XStandby/Sleep0.5W<0.010.04 (20h a week)

Tips for Increasing Switch Efficiency and Reduced Power Draw

When it comes to gaming, Switch is by far the least power hungry of the current console crop, and the relatively low energy consumption to run it, especially compared to the other consoles, and more power-intensive household appliances, may come as a surprise.

Despite the small, every little helps, so here are some suggestions to help make your Switch as power-efficient as possible:

  • When possible, charge the Switch in the dock while it's off, not while playing it will recharge much faster
  • Turn your Switch off rather than putting it in Sleep Mode (though you won't have access to quick resume or downloads when off)
  • If you use wired internet on your OLED, make sure to turn on the "low power consumption" option
  • Turn down the brightness
  • Turn off WiFi and Bluetooth
  • Keep the Joy-Con attached
  • Charge your Switch to full before using it in handheld
  • Upgrade your Switch to a newer, more efficient model

It's unlikely that you'll save a lot by tweaking your settings and playing less. The most you can save is a few pennies here and there, even with the relatively demanding OLED with wired internet. It's useful to know all the same.

We highly recommend that you take a look at your Xbox Series S and X's energy-saving settings, since they can use about half the energy as a Switch that's charging and playing Zelda.

If you have all three consoles, you might be spending almost 5 a week to have them running in the background!

Do you have any useful tips on lowering the energy bill price? What do you think about the Switch's energy consumption versus other consoles? Is there anything Nintendo could do to assist? Let us know in the comments!