CES: Gaming finds a home behind the wheel

LAS VEGAS — No matter how much people believe that cars are smartphones on wheels, CES showed plenty of evidence that video games are gaining significant traction in today’s cars.

Holoride launched an in-cabin virtual reality game in the US earlier this year. Nvidia has announced a partnership with the automaker to expand his subscription to cloud-based gaming. Sony, the maker of the hugely popular PlayStation console, also partnered with the makers of Fortnite when it unveiled his Afeela, an electric concept sedan created in collaboration with partner Honda Motor Co. said tied.

On one level, the development represents an expansion of the gaming industry, which market research firm Newzoo currently estimates to have 3.2 billion players worldwide and more than $180 billion in revenue. But it’s also about foreseeing changes in the way people interact with their cars as we charge batteries and machines take over driving.

Danny Shapiro, VP of Automotive at Nvidia, said: “When the driver is no longer in the loop, entertainment of all kinds becomes part of the in-vehicle experience, whether it be video conferencing, watching movies or playing games.”

Nvidia has announced partnerships with Hyundai Motor Group, Polestar and China’s BYD to bring its GeForceNOW game subscription service to future vehicles. A 3G connection alone won’t work well, but any car with access to 5G or Wi-Fi can support advanced gaming.

For drivers looking to kill 20-30 minutes while charging their EV, playing a video game can mean scrolling fortunes on Twitter, streaming YouTube videos, or replying to emails. It could be a fun alternative, he said.

Shapiro said that the popularity of plug-in cars and the popularity of games has led to more partnerships with automakers for GeForceNOW.

But the automaker’s role in the in-car game isn’t guaranteed, said Colin Bird-Martinez, a consultant at S&P Global Mobility.

It’s hard to give gamers the features they expect. Meeting the demands of gaming computing is a challenge, especially given the ruggedness of modern vehicles.

Companies are considering a number of strategies, with Tesla and eventually Sony considering offering AAA games that require extensive computing and possibly additional equipment such as keyboards and mice. I’m here. At the other end are very basic phone-like games played on a touchscreen.

He questioned whether the breadth and depth of overlap between games and car use justified the cost.

“The long-term dream has always been self-driving cars so everyone can play the game,” he said. “But now that we know it’s going to be further in the future, we’ve noticed that it and recharging are far less focused as an opportunity for game time.

Admittedly, not everyone is convinced that robo-taxis are far away. Toyota Boshoku’s Richard Chong said driverless taxis are already on the streets in China.

His company has worked with other Toyota Group suppliers on Moox concept vehicles.

One of the features of the self-driving pods, slated for use by 2030, is to make urban riders feel better.

In a demonstration on the floor of the Las Vegas Convention Center, Moox began by checking the condition of passengers by measuring things like heart rate.

If someone is found to be tense, it suggests deep breathing and calming meditation, creating an ideal environment of soothing sounds with outdoor digital green foliage on the augmented reality display screen.

After passengers settle in, the Moox pod offers a game — antivirus — that can be played without additional equipment. Sensors identify the player’s hand to virtually throw a shuriken or ninja star into a cartoon virus or a balloon that bursts and blows away viruses around them.

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