Sorry Kids, But The Xbox And PS3 Have To Go Because They Consume Too Much Electricity

Playstation 3 with Netflix InstantCnet posted an article about the overall electricity consumed by video game consoles (PS3, Xbox 360 and Wii) and how the amount has grown by 50% over the last 3 years. The article was based on a report released by Carnegie Mellon University. In 2010, 1% of all residential power consumed was through video game consoles. Anyone that owns a Xbox or Playstation 3 is aware of the fact that when it’s on, it sounds like a desktop computer and the reality is that it consumes power at about the same rate. Of course it’s the mega processor in the game console that needs the juice and as the quality of the systems has increased, the amount of power needed has increased too. Here’s the breakdown from Mr. Electricity (tv/monitor not included):

  1. Nintendo Wii – 18 watts
  2. Xbox 360 – 185 watts
  3. Playstation 3 – 194 watts

We’ll leave the Wii out of this but with the Xbox and PS3, you get some pretty big power consumption numbers from such a small box and that doesn’t include the power consumed by your TV. The Xbox and PS3 require 4 times the power needed for an average laptop and 18 times the power required to run a plugged in iPad. Yes, you could go rogue and give everything away but that never works out too well.

My recommendation: stick to only playing video games on the PS3 and Xbox 360. It sounds obvious but if you own a system, you know that they include Netflix, Pandora, VUDU, Hulu, Youtube etc. The number of non-gaming services available on each system is growing and making the console a power-draining app player. Facebook, Tweet, Netflix and Pandora on your laptop (45 watts w/display) or iPad (10 watts) and use the game machine for games. [Cnet and Carnegie Mellon University]


The Hive Dock For iPhone 4

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One of the Jubblingest features of the iPhone 4 is that when it’s paired with Netflix’s Instant’s TV and movie catalog, it works as a low-power consuming alternative for watching television. The only downside is that the iPhone 4 is only viewable and barely audible for one person. The Hive dock might change that to two or more. It’s a simple and ingenious way to listen to amplified music and watch expanded video from your iPhone 4. It’s done through design and does not require a separate power source. The Hive’s video magnifying glass is a little reminiscent of products available in the 1970’s that magnified our TV screens.

The Hive will sell for $45 and is expected to be available in September 2011. The company behind the product, Screendoor Studio, is busy trying to raise funds through Kickstarter. Watching the video above, it’s apparent that one of the drawbacks using the magnified lens would be reduced viewing angle; only the person directly in front of the screen will get a magnified, full image. Plus, for amplified audio, a coffee cup seems to be an easy Macgyver solution.

But the Hive docking station could still be a nice iPhone 4 accessory for watching video, as an alarm clock and speaker amplifier. You’ll easily save $45 in electricity and batteries versus watching standard TV and using external speakers.