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The PlayStation 5 will be much more energy efficient when sleeping

It should come as no great surprise that consumer technology isn’t great for the planet’s health, but certain elements are less necessary than others. A case in point is the Xbox One and PlayStation 4’s standby modes, which allow quick boots (and the “Xbox On” instruction in the case of the former), but require a constant draw of power for that convenience.

Well now Sony has pledged to tackle that waste with a blog post which touches upon how much more energy efficient the PS5 (or whatever it ends up being called) will be than its predecessor when in this state.

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The next generation PlayStation console will include the possibility to suspend gameplay with much lower power consumption than PS4 (which we estimate can be achieved at around 0.5 W),” wrote Jim Ryan, president and CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment. “If just one million users enable this feature, it would save equivalent to the average electricity use of 1000 US homes.”

That’s a big “if”, of course. From the sounds of it, this new low-power mode isn’t going to be the default setting, and if it’s an opt-in feature, then its uptake is likely to be far lower. 

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Plus, of course, while standby energy draw is upsetting because it’s so unnecessary, it still pales in comparison to energy consumption when consoles are actually doing something. A 2014 report from the Natural Resources Defence Council says that while the PS4 could draw up to 8.5 watts in standby (newer models have improved this), that could reach 89 watts while streaming video or 137 while playing games. 

It’s not that this isn’t a big deal that should be applauded… it’s just that the title of the blog post announcing it – “PlayStation Joins Forces with the United Nations to Combat Climate Change” – feels a little grandiose considering the scale of the problem.

Will you opt in to the PS5’s low-energy standby mode? Let us know on Twitter: @TrustedReviews.

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