Running your Xbox or Xbox 360 from your car with a 12v Inverter
We get a lot of queries from people who want to run their Xbox and Xbox 360 (or Playstation) game consoles from their car, caravan, RV, boat etc. Whether it is to entertain the kids on a long drive or for the hardcore gamers that cant bare the thought of dealing with the withdrawals while they are on the road we can help you out. (I recently did the drive from Sydney to Brisbane and when I wasn’t driving I sure wouldn’t have minded if I had an Xbox 360 to pass the time.. but moving along).
The first thing to consider is that the original Xbox consumes about half the power of the far more power hungry Xbox 360. This being the case if you want the option of running either of them then we would recommend getting an inverter that can provide enough power for the newer Xbox 360.
From what we have been advised by Microsoft the current draw of the original Xbox is approx 90W - 110W.
The Xbox 360 draws up to about 190W depending on game play.
For reference the Playstation 3 draws up to about 200W once again depending on game play.
So with these figures above we now have an idea of what inverter you will need.
The next thing to think about is whether to get the cheaper and lower quality power output of the modified wave inverter or opt for the more expensive but far higher quality power output of a pure sine wave inverter.
Firstly we have to say that we always recommend running any game console or complex electrical equipment from a pure sine wave inverter as the power quality is much higher. See the image below to give you an idea of the output of both a modified and pure sine wave inverter.
Having said that an Xbox will run from a modified wave inverter, but please read the next paragraph carefully so you understand the implications.
A word of caution: For its own protection an Xbox, like most laptops etc, has what is referred to as a switched mode power supply. What this means is that it has the ability to filter out the noise from a lower quality power source like a modified wave inverter. This being the case if you are running an Xbox from a lower quality power source then the power supply essentially has to do a lot more work and so it will shorten the life of the power supply unit in the Xbox.
The final thing to consider is if you want to run any other electrical equipment from the inverter at the same time. If so you will need to get the power consumption (in Watts) for each of these items which is usually found at the base of the unit.
From there it is just a matter of adding up all the values so you get a total vaule for your power needs in Watts.
We suggest that it is generally a good idea to have at least a 20% buffer in Watts to cover any variables so add another 20% to your total value in watts and then just select an inverter that can provide at least that much power.
As an example assuming you don’t want to run any additional electrical equipment an Xbox 360 has a power draw of about 190W. Add at least 20% to that value (190 + 38) and you get 228 Watts. So any inverter that can provide at least 228W in power should be suitable to run your Xbox or Xbox 360 gaming units.
We hope this has answered your questions but if you need any additional help then feel free to contact us and we will be more than happy to go over any additional queries you may have.