As great as today’s current-generation game consoles are, they’re a real sucker when it comes to energy. They manage to take up 70 to 100 watts in active use, mainly due to the high-powered graphics chips, including the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii U. Compared to an Apple TV using only 6 watts of power, that’s quite a bit.

That said, a Polygon report indicates that future consoles, like the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, won’t be such power mongers. According to Microsoft Senior Compliance Manager Tim Calland, systems like the Xbox One are “designed from the ground up to maximize computational power per watt.”

Multicore design is a huge benefit when it comes to power consumption. “One major difference we have now versus the Xbox 360 is scalable architecture, which means that it deals with tasks by just using the amount of computing capacity needed for the work to be done. Gaming is the big high-power experience, but when we are doing lesser functionality like streaming media, we’re using much less energy than the Xbox 360 did when we launched… We have eight cores now and we only use the amount that we need. That wasn’t an option in the last generation.”

Even at full capacity, the Xbox One will generate “eight times the computational power for the same amount of energy as Xbox 360 at launch.”

We’ll see how they fare when the PlayStation 4 launches on November 15 in the U.S., and the Xbox One one week later.

Source: Ars Technica