As we know our current Power supply from Eskom is in a dire status but that does not mean that we can't make use of our video game consoles when the power is out. DieGrootHammer already outlined how you can still game portably when the power is out, but this guide will hopefully show you how to game as if the power hasn’t gone out.
The first solution is a Pure Sine Wave Generator, they are a bit pricey but they output a stable source of current which is good for you console and television set (yes a normal generator will also power your console and TV but the power generated is a lot dirtier so to speak and the best option with those generators is to use an intermediary device like a UPS most likely a pure sine UPS between the generator and console/tv setup).
A 1KVA (1000w) generator should be sufficient enough to power a 40 inch Led TV which has a typical power draw of about 100 watts and a console along with your router and a LED light or 2. Anything more on there will most likely put some strain on your generator and its always better to use a bit less than what the generator is actually rated for.
Eg. on a 1000 watt (1kva) generator, don’t try to use more than 850 watt of the capacity generated
Below is a chart courtesy of Extreme Tech that shows you the typical power draw of consoles.
Yes the revised PS4 slim is not included along with the Pro and both the Xbox one S and X models but here they are for your perusal. These are ranged values as the Power draw from console to console varies by a few watts even if it’s the same console made on the same day.
That is why the Xbox one X uses the Hovis Method, a hardware design process that customizes the amount of power needed for each individual One X console.
PS4 Slim– draws about 40-50w at idle and maxes at around 60 – 100w during gameplay
PS4 Pro – draws about 70w at idle and maxes at around 180w during gameplay
Xbox One S – draws about 25-30w at idle and maxes at around 50 – 100w during gameplay
Xbox One X - draws about 50w at idle but One X enhanced titles can draw up to 200w with Gears 4 peaking at 172w
The other alternative to a generator is an uninterrupted power supply aka UPS. A UPS is typically hooked up to a solar array (solar panel) directly if it has a built in charge controller and that panel charges a 12 v battery in the case of a 850VA unit or 2x 12v batteries with a 1400VA unit or more the higher the capacity of the unit etc.
A cheap solar setup will typically set you back around R10000 when you factor in the UPS, Panels, batteries + installation and a PureSine generator will only set you back around R6000. The generator option is cheaper but you will have to constantly buy fuel for it and deal with noise whereas the Solar Ups option typically need the batteries to be replaced more or less after 1,5 – 2 years or with deep cycle Gel batteries +- 5 years.
These are unfortunately the options we have available in SA for Off Grid console gaming unless you have a windmill in your backyard or in possession of Tony Stark’s Arc Reactor.