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Switch, Xbox, PS5 Power Consumption Comparison – How Energy-Efficient Is Nintendo Switch?

energyusage
Image: NintendoLife

Whether you’re in a country with pricey electricity bills, or you just want to reduce your overall spending, or even help to save the environment (every little helps!), you might want to look to your consoles — especially since a prominent British energy company recently called them “vampires” and advised us to turn them off completely.

Whether that’s a fair assessment or not, the fact is that a great many of us are looking to tighten our belts as the global cost-of-living crisis creeps into all aspects of our lives, and any household device that’s constantly plugged into the mains is worth investigating to see what savings can be made.

Do you currently have your console(s) in instant-on mode? Sleepmode? Energy-saving mode? Do you know the difference in the first place, or how much each is actually costing you every month? We can help you!

Check out our guide to the efficiency and energy costs of the consoles, and how to reduce the amount of money you’ll be paying each month.

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

Below you’ll find some vital stats for each Nintendo Switch model currently on sale — plus Sony and Microsoft’s consoles for comparison — and some per-hour and per-week energy estimates based on information from the manufacturers and other sources.

Some notes before we begin:

Nintendo Switch (base model)

Switch Lite
Image: NintendoLife

docked

Usage Energy Draw Cost per hour Cost per week estimates
Playing games 7-11W £0.01 £0.08 (2h per day)
Playing while charging 15-17W £0.01 £0.06 (1h per day)
streaming media 6W <£0.01 £0.02 (1h per day)
On the Home menu 3W <£0.01 <£0.01 (1h a week)
sleep mode 0.3-0.5W <£0.01 £0.04 (20h a day)
Sleep mode (charging) 9.8-12.1W <£0.01 £0.04 (1h per day)
power off 0.3-0.5W <£0.01 £0.04 (20 hours a day)

undocked

Usage Energy Draw Cost per hour Cost per week estimates
Playing while charging 8-9W £0.03 £0.06 (2h per day)
Sleep mode (charging) 8-9W £0.03 £0.06 (2h per day)

Average cost per week

  • £0.08 (1h a day playtime) — £0.30 (5h a day playtime)

nintendo switch lite

Switch Lite W Box
Image: NintendoLife

The Switch Lite can’t be docked, so the important consideration is how much power it draws when you’re playing a game and charging.

Usage Energy Draw Cost per hour Cost per week estimates
Playing games 5-7.5W £0.03 £0.05 (2h per day)
Playing while charging 7.5-13.5W £0.05 £0.05 (1h per day)
Sleep mode (charging) ~13W £0.05 £0.09 (2h per day)

Average cost per week

  • £0.10 (1h a day playtime) — £0.30 (5h a day playtime)

Nintendo Switch OLED

Switch OLEDMK8 DBaby Park
Image: Nintendo Life

Nintendo did not provide energy draw for the OLED when charging, but we can assume it’s more or less similar to the Nintendo Switch base model. These figures are from Nintendo, not a third-party, so take that as you will. We also only have figures for docked mode.

docked

Usage Energy Draw Cost per hour Cost per week estimates
Playing games 6W £0.02 £0.04 (2h per day)
streaming media 5W £0.02 £0.02 (1h per day)
On the Home menu 3W £0.01 <£0.01 (1h a week)
sleep mode 0.3-0.5W (WiFi)
2.2W (wired)
<£0.01 (WiFi)
£0.01 (wired)
£0.04 (20h a day)
£0.16 (20h a day)
power off 0.3-0.5W <£0.01 £0.04 (20h a day)

Average cost per week

  • £0.08 (1h a day playtime) — £0.25 (5h a day playtime)

As a comparison point, here are the costs for the Xbox Series S/X and the PS5 (from Xbox and Sony’s sites):

xbox series x

Usage Energy Draw Cost per hour Cost per week estimates
Playing games 153W £0.08 £1.09 (2h a day)
streaming 47W £0.02 £0.34 (2h per day)
Instant-On mode 13W £0.01 £0.93 (20h a day)
standby 0.5W <£0.01 £0.04 (20h a week)

Average cost per week

  • £1.62 (1h a day playtime/Instant On) — £3.61 (5h a day playtime/Instant On)

Xbox Series S

Usage Energy Draw Cost per hour Cost per week estimates
Playing games 74W £0.04 £0.53 (2h per day)
streaming 31W £0.02 £0.22 (2h per day)
Instant-On mode 10W £0.01 £0.71 (20h a day)
standby 0.4W <£0.01 £0.03 (20h a day)

Average cost per week

  • £1.08 (1h a day playtime/Instant On) — £2.00 (5h a day playtime/Instant On)

Playstation 5

Usage Energy Draw Cost per hour Cost per week estimates
Playing games 200W £0.10 £1.43 (2h a day)
streaming 54W £0.03 £0.39 (2h a day)
standby 2W <£0.01 £0.14 (20h a day)

Average cost per week

  • £0.87 (1h a day playtime) — £3.71 (5h a day playtime)

Switch / Xbox / PlayStation Quick Comparison Table

Here we’ll just summarize the information above to help illustrate the main comparison points for the ‘flagship’ consoles from the big three manufacturers:

Console Usage Energy Draw Cost per hour Cost per week estimates
OLED switch Playing games 6W £0.02 £0.04 (2h per day)
PS5 Playing games 200W £0.10 £1.43 (2h a day)
xbox series x Playing games 153W £0.08 £1.09 (2h a day)
OLED switch Standby/Sleep 0.3-0.5W (WiFi)
2.2W (wired)
<£0.01 (WiFi)
£0.01 (wired)
£0.04 (20h a day)
£0.16 (20h a day)
PS5 Standby/Sleep 2W <£0.01 £0.14 (20h a day)
xbox series x Standby/Sleep 0.5W <£0.01 £0.04 (20h a week)

Tips To Reduce Power Draw & Increase Efficiency On The Switch

OLEDIn Hand
Image: NintendoLife

As you can see (and as you’d expect from the smaller mobile console), Switch is by far the least power hungry of the current console crop when it comes to playing games, and the more modest energy costs to run it — especially compared to the other consoles and more power-intensive household appliances — may come as something of a relief.

Still, every little does help, so here are some tips to 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 Wi-Fi 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

Realistically, you’re not going to save a massive amount by tweaking your settings and playing less. The most you can save is a few pennies here and there, even with the comparatively demanding OLED with wired internet. You may decide it’s not worth the effort, but it’s useful to know all the same.

However, we highly recommend that you take a look at the energy-saving settings for your Xbox, since the Xbox Series S and X in Instant On mode can draw almost as much as a Switch that’s charging and playing Zelda. Make sure to check out our sister site, Pure Xbox, for all the details.

Likewise with the PS5, reducing your hours and using power-saving options may help reduce those colossal energy bills — if you’ve got all three consoles, you could be forking out almost £5 a week just to have them running in the background!


Do you have any handy tips for combating the energy bill price rise? What do you think about the energy usage of the Switch versus other consoles? Is there anything Nintendo could do to help? Tell us in the comments!

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