the game invites itself to cars

Zapping Autonews Hyundai Ioniq 6 (2022): the new electric sedan on video

If electrification and autonomous driving remain at the center of debates, the 2023 edition of CES in Las Vegas is also interested in content. One of the protagonists of this fair, Nvidia, is, for example, boosting its GeForce Now online gaming platform, which has more than 1,500 games from the biggest publishers and that can be played from various terminals (computer, tablet, smartphone, TV ). It is quite logical to extend the sphere to the car, where more and more efficient screens are taking place, both front and rear.

And Nvidia is in a better position to do that, as it already offers solutions with chips and software like the Drive for on-board multimedia. In Las Vegas, the American company announced partnerships with the Chinese BYD, Hyundai and the Polestar brand (Volvo’s sports brand). The platform’s interest comes from the fact that it also offers free games (such as Fortnite, Lost Ark and Destiny 2). Children, therefore, will not necessarily make the budget burn. For Ali Kani, head of automotive at Nvidia, “the combination of computing power, increased connectivity and artificial intelligence makes new experiences on board possible”.

sony in ambush

This is also the promise of BMW, which signed an agreement with Air Console, a platform launched by Swiss start-up N-Dream. Starting this year, games will be displayed on the touch screen of the latest models, the famous Curved Display. These are the smartphones that will act as controllers to control the characters.

Tesla has played a pioneering role in this area by offering games available when parked, some of which can be operated from the steering wheel and pedals. It has also more recently integrated the Steam platform, offering many online games in passing. But Sony can also bring respite.

The Japanese electronics giant, which approached compatriot Honda, will launch the Afeela brand in 2025. The ambition is to offer electric vehicles, partly autonomous and ultraconnected. Of course, games will be part of the onboard experience. The group, which has a specialized subsidiary (Sony Interactive Entertainment), publishes precisely video games, including, for example, Gran Turismo. And, of course, we also thought about the PlayStation. In addition, in its teaser video, Sony highlights the Horizon Forbidden West game, which rightly belongs to the PS4 and PS5 universe. And as the Japanese giant also owns Columbia Studios, the Afeela brand will offer very attractive content.

Audi: games that move to the rhythm of the car

audi holoridePhoto credit – Audi

Meanwhile, Audi is the world’s first automaker to offer virtual reality entertainment via the Holoride headset in its vehicles.

In 2019, the ring brand came to CES to announce this unique partnership. It becomes reality in 2023, with a whole range of compatible models (A4, A5, A6, A7, A8, Q5, Q7, Q8, Q8 e-tron, e-tron, e-tron Sportback and e-tron GT) , as long as they are equipped with the third-generation MIB multimedia system.

Connected via a Bluetooth link to the vehicle’s screen, the helmet will, in fact, adapt the distribution of content according to driving in real time. For example, if the vehicle turns to the right, the spaceship in the virtual world will also move to the right. And if the car accelerates, the spaceship in the game also accelerates. Guaranteed effect.

Furthermore, by synchronizing the user’s visual and haptic experiences, the Holoride headset reduces the risk of motion sickness, which commonly affects people watching movies or other dynamic content in a moving car. Among the games offered at launch, one of them is designed precisely for the car and developed by the Arvore studio.

Waiting for the autonomous car

Watching video games from the driver’s seat can only be done when stationary for obvious safety reasons.

Recall in this regard that Tesla broke the rule and was called to order by the road safety organization NHTSA in the United States, after which he turned off the screen while driving.

With the gradual arrival of autonomous driving, it will undoubtedly be possible to play or view content while the vehicle manages the steering wheel and pedals, in traffic jams and on the highway. But, you will need to be able to deactivate everything when you go back to manual mode.

In any case, connected services will multiply at the moment of the software-defined vehicle, promises Dirk Hilgenberg, head of Cariad (a Volkswagen subsidiary specializing in software). And since it will be necessary to stop to recharge the battery, with a time that can be long if there is a queue, we understand better why manufacturers also bet on streaming along with online games.

Mercedes will thus offer Zync (a video platform that aggregates others) in North America. And on the music side, the company with the star will offer access to Apple Music in a spatialized sound version, while Sony promises the Audio 360 Reality experience with Afeela.

sum up

In-car video games to occupy passengers while traveling is the new creed of car manufacturers. At least that’s what emerged from the many announcements of the 2023 edition of CES in Las Vegas, which took place in early January. Announcements and prospects our high-tech expert Laurent Meillaud returns to.

Laurent Meillaud

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