Dear Energy: How much does it cost to play an hour of PlayStation?

Rising energy prices have generated some discomfort, sometimes justified, sometimes less so, but with a view to reducing consumption and billing costs, it is easy to imagine one tending to drop the hatchet on less important activities, such as gaming. Playing video games requires at least a console, a computer, and a TV, and it’s easy to spend several hours playing without noticing. It is well known that gaming computers are among the most power consuming electronic devices out there, especially if we move to more advanced gaming configurations. However, the variety of components makes it difficult to analyze analytically how much an hour of playing on PC can cost. Easier If we limit the field to consoles, the situation is certainly more common in terms of the families involved. So we asked ourselves, how much does it cost to play the latest generation game for an hour with a new console? Is it high enough to affect billing costs and force us to change our gaming habits?

Our test conditions

The first setup we looked at was pairing the PlayStation 5 with a 48-inch OLED TV. We connected the two devices to the same multi-socket, which was in turn connected to a Meross smart socket capable of metering consumption. Consumption obviously varies according to many surrounding conditions: how computationally intensive is the implementation of the chosen address on the console, the configuration of the TV and, in the case of online games, the influence of the network equipment must also be considered separately. To test us, and to get an indicative estimate, however realistic, We took Cyberpunk 2077 for PS5 as a reference title, making sure to activate the HDR mode, in order to obtain maximum consumption. The TV used for testing was a Sony A9 series OLED, unfortunately without VRR, set in game mode, calibrated to D65 for white balance (we specify this because when doing so, peak brightness and therefore consumption are slightly reduced).

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How much does an hour play with PlayStation 5 on a 4K and HDR TV?

From the power label, the TV used for testing draws 92W in HDR mode with default settings. On the other hand, the PlayStation 5 consumed, according to laboratory measurements carried out by at launch, just over 200 watts, it is understood that the integrated power supply is 350 watts.

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As usual, we reset our Meross socket, started up the console, TV, and game, started a session, and continued our game as if nothing had happened. With a one-hour timer stroke, we closed the game, turned off the console, and then went to read our Wh count on the app.

One hour of Cyberpunk 2077 In performance mode at 60fps, with HDR on a 48-inch Sony OLED TV in game mode So it cost us a round of 0.34 kWh. So we are not too far away from the board data of the two devices. As usual, for simplicity, we refer to the ARERA tariff for the protected market incl. VAT which is around 0.60 €/kWh. So our hour of video games would cost us about 20 cents. According to the latest annual report from IIDEA, the video game industry trade association in Italy, a PS5 user plays an average of 3.3 hours a week, and therefore, using this data, would cost a total of 66 cents. A year of play, with this weekly average, has a maximum cost of around 35 euros at the new rates, a number spread over the course of a year that we think doesn’t scare anyone. Obviously, games that are less demanding on the computational resources of the console, on a smaller TV and not in HDR, will have less impact. However, let’s take the case of a player who devotes more time to his passion. Maybe he’s playing hard on the Internet He stays on the console for at least two hours a day. In this case, the cost in the bill will go up approx 3 euros per week and about 150 euros per year.

Moral of our story: Does playing video games cost more expensive card? Yes, of course. Should we worry? On average we say no. But given how addictive games can be and it’s easy to lose hours without realizing it, at this point of insane rates it’s best to keep track of how much time you actually spend on this pastime and do the math.

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