Tesla Planning In-Car Gaming With Steam Integration

Technology / 7 Comments

Once Full Self-Driving gets the go-ahead, you can play as much Mario Kart as you want.

Less than a month ago, Elon Musk stated that he wants Full Self-Driving to be ready before the end of the year. Whether it will be and whether it will be safe is a topic for another day. For now, we want to focus on what the driver should do when the car is driving itself. How does access to the full Steam library sound? In a recent reply to a tweet, Musk revealed that he's in the process of testing this very feature.

Tesla already pondered this problem in 2018 and came up with a solution. Instead of sitting in silence and inevitably facing existential dread five minutes into the journey, Tesla included several Atari games via the Version 9 system update.


By December 2021, the driver could play video games while the car was in motion, and less than a month later, Tesla had to admit that it was perhaps not the best move. The feature was eventually pulled.

You'd think that would be the end of it, but now that Musk has promised full autonomy, his next big move is finding a way to entertain passengers. He's on record stating that entertainment will be critical once autonomous cars become common, which is why Steam integration is so important.

The famous gaming portal will join the existing entertainment features, which include access to streaming services like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, and Twitch.

2021-2022 Tesla Model S Plaid Central Control Panel Tesla 2021-2022 Tesla Model S Plaid Center Console Lid Tesla
2021-2022 Tesla Model S Plaid Central Control Panel
2021-2022 Tesla Model S Plaid Center Console Lid

Tesla has an entire team dedicated to engineering video games, and electrek reports that it might even turn into a business. You pay a subscription, and you get access to games, which is the same business model Steam uses. Has Tesla given up on its own platform and betting on Steam instead? We don't see a reason why both things can't be true. The average household in the USA has access to four streaming services, so two gaming services in a car is relatively lightweight.

Consider Tesla's new Graphics Processing Unit in the Model S and Model X, which was discovered by a Twitter user recently. You can see an image of it below, but in case you can't read diagrams, it basically just shows that the gaming system is connected to both the front and rear screens.

Patrick Schur/Twitter

It also has more storage space and can easily handle two games simultaneously - one in the front and one in the back.

Even if Musk misses the Full Self-Driving deadline, this will likely still happen, though it will be limited to when the car stands still. It's the perfect time killer when charging on the go, and the rear screen will keep kids occupied for hours if they have access to Steam.

For the record, we don't see Full Self-Driving appearing anytime soon. Musk might hit his deadline, but the California government reacted to his statements a few days later, calling for misleading vehicle features to be renamed. If they take issue with the name, imagine what they'll do when they find out you can game while supposedly driving.

2021-2022 Tesla Model S Plaid Central Console Tesla
Source Credits: electrek

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