Sony heralded the new PlayStation 3 Slim as more energy efficient than previous models, but that's an easy feat considering the older PS3 'Fat' models were some of the most power-hungry home video appliances available, with power consumption similar to that of a 50-inch plasma TV, for example.
To test Sony's claim, we put the PS3 Slim through a battery of power consumption tests and the results really are impressive: the PS3 Slim generally uses less than half the power of the original 60GB PS3, no matter what task it's performing. Check out the comparison:
All measurements in watts.
Whether the PS3 Slim is a "green-friendly" device depends on your perspective. As you can see from the chart, the PS3 Slim still uses much more power than a typical standalone Blu-ray player like the Samsung BD-P3600, so if you're going to do mostly Blu-ray playback, the PS3 Slim is a real power hog. On the other hand, the Xbox 360 uses about 187 watts while playing a game, which makes the PS3 Slim look like the HD game console for the environmentally conscious. The Nintendo Wii uses a paltry 19 watts, but is standard-def only.
If you've got an older PS3, you might be wondering how much this extra energy consumption is going to cost you over the course of a year. Unless you're playing a lot of video games, the difference isn't that much. If you generally play for about 20 hours a week, you'll save $13.74 per year using a PS3 Slim vs. an older model. If you're hardcore enough to rack up 50 hours of gaming per week, you'd still only save about $100 over a three-year period. In other words, the PS3 Slim may make you feel better, but it won't make much of a difference in your bank account. (Our cost estimate uses the average price of energy in the U.S. during 2008, which is 11.4 cents per kilowatt per hour according to the Energy Information Administration.)