Why it matters: Sony's next-generation PlayStation could be far more energy efficient than the PlayStation 4 in certain scenarios thanks to a modified suspend-to-RAM feature that'll trim power consumption considerably... but only if you opt-in to use it.
SIE President and CEO Jim Ryan in a recent blog post said the PlayStation 5 will be able to suspend gameplay to RAM in a way that uses far less power than the PS4, estimating that it'll use just 0.5W to do so. Ryan said that if just one million gamers enable the feature (presumably meaning it is opt-in), it would save the equivalent of the average electricity use of 1,000 US homes.
According to a 2014 report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, the PS4 consumes around 8.5W in standby mode, roughly 89 watts while streaming video and about 137 watts while actively gaming. Sony has taken steps to reduce power consumption on the PS4 such as by using a more efficient SoC although it's unclear if that was before or after the 2014 report.
It's all part of a new initiative to contribute to the efforts of the UN Environment committee via a new partnership called the Playing for the Planet alliance. The program aims to shift the gaming industry towards sustainability and has already garnered support from 30 of the top influential companies in the sector.