A new report by Springer Sceience and Business Media has discovered that during 2010, almost 70 per cent of the overall power draw of the world's consoles was thanks to idling. This total came to over 10.8 TWh of energy, equating to well over a billion dollars in wasted power.
The biggest culprit for the trio of main consoles of this generation was the PlayStation 3, with its first edition having an active power draw of 180 watts and an idling draw of 167. The Xbox 360 wasn't much better however, with active/idle draws of 172/162w respectively.
Both of those consoles have got far better with their hardware revisions, more than halving the idle power consumption, but the Wii has been ahead of the curve the whole time. Its active/idle power draws were as low as 16/11w. The only real difference with the Nintendo console was whether its WC24 was enabled or not. With it on, standby power jumped from 2w to 9w.
Microsoft released a firmware update for its console in May last year enabling the auto-off feature by default, bringing about much power saving for those that like to turn their machine on and wander off periodically. The PlayStation 3 however still only has an opt-in feature with that ability.
Power consumption has become quite a large concern in the graphics and console industry, with Nvidia's recent Kepler GTX 680 release featuring hardware that was powerful, with a very impressive idle power draw.