You'll Never Guess Why Sony Kept the PS4's Power Consumption Under 250 Watt

By Giuseppe Nelva

January 21, 2014

Few things are more fascinating than hearing what the engineers that gave birth to a console have to say about the ins and outs of its design, as you’ll often learn how choices that are apparently disjointed are instead deeply connected in ways that you’ll never imagine. Many of those design decisions were taken for the PS4, but one is particularly intriguing, as Sony Computer Entertainment Engineering Director Yasuhiro Ootori explained during a technical lecture at the INTERNEPCON Japan trade show in Tokyo.

Sony’s engineers were instructed to keep the PS4’s power consumption strictly under 250 watt, and Ootori-san stressed on the importance of that choice. You’d think it was taken to limit the generation of heat, or maybe to simply help us save on our energy bills, but that’s not the primary reason.

Ootori-san explained that 250 watt is the upper limit, by safety regulations, that allows the use of a two prong power cord. By using 250 watt or more the PS4 would have required a three prong power cord, and of course a three pin power inlet on the back of the console. That kind of connector is larger, and would have negatively impacted the miniaturization of the unit.

That’s why Sony put its best designers at work on making the console as power-efficient as possible in order to keep consumption under 250 watt.

At the bottom of the post you can see a picture of the PS4’s power source without its shell (courtesy of Ifixit), and you can indeed notice that the power inlet is very small, contributing to saving precious space.

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If you want to check out the rest of the information from Ootori-san’s lecture, you can read our previous report with all the juicy details.


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Giuseppe Nelva

Hailing from sunny (not as much as people think) Italy and long standing gamer since the age of Mattel Intellivision and Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Definitely a multi-platform gamer, he still holds the old dear PC nearest to his heart, while not disregarding any console on the market. RPGs (of any nationality) and MMORPGs are his daily bread, but he enjoys almost every other genre, prominently racing simulators, action and sandbox games. He is also one of the few surviving fans of the flight simulator genre on Earth.

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