Xbox 360's a power hog

Tech Culture

If the $300 price tag for Microsoft's new Xbox 360 game console seems steep to you, just wait til you get the electric bill.

The new gaming system, which has topped holiday gift lists since its Nov. 22 retail debut, is "obscenely power hungry," according to Will Greenwald, a CNET product reviewer.

Using special testing equipment, Will and his review team found that the machine draws about 160 watts of power, more than twice as much as the original version and double rivals' systems. That puts the Xbox 360 ahead of most other home entertainment devices in terms of power consumption with the exception of big screen, high-definition TVs, which are the SUVs of the living room.

CNET reviewers estimate that spending an average of four hours a day on the machine will add as much as $35 a year to your electricity bill. But if that's not a concern, consider this: some of the units are reportedly overheating. A suit filed on Friday against Microsoft seeks class action status, claiming the product is defective.

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