It’s a strange question now. In a few years, it may not be.
Sony and Honda will work together to bring out a new lineup of electric cars that may be gaming machines on wheels.
Details on Partnership Emerging
The two companies earlier this year announced plans to work together on a stable of electric vehicles. They launched a joint venture, Sony Honda Mobility (they’re pumping all their creativity into the cars, we hope) this summer.
Now, Sony Honda Mobility President Izumi Kawanishi is beginning to talk about what the companies have planned. Tellingly, he uses terms from the gaming community, not the auto industry.
“We will develop a car as hardware that will cater to the entertainment and network we would like to offer,” Kawanishi tells the Financial Times. “Sony has content, services, and entertainment technologies that move people. We are adapting these assets to mobility, and this is our strength against Tesla.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean your next SUV will be a PS5. But, asked directly whether the PS5’s technology could work inside a car, Kawanishi says it’s “technically possible.”
Gaming Behind the Wheel? Maybe if the Car Is Driving
And, uh, we hate to interject, but…behind the wheel of a car… don’t you have other things to do? “To enjoy the space in your car, you have to make it a space where you don’t need to drive. The solution for this is autonomous driving,” Kawanishi said.
Sonda…Hony…Sony Honda Mobility is hardly the first company to think of a self-driving car where the passengers are busy playing driving games. Tesla models currently offer more than a dozen games on their central touchscreens, ranging from the 1979 Atari classic “Asteroids” to the first entry in Sega’s beloved “Sonic the Hedgehog” series.
You can only play them while the car is parked. That wasn’t true when they first launched, but the company disabled the games while the car is in motion after federal safety regulators notified Tesla that they considered the function a safety hazard and might investigate.
GM, meanwhile, has shown off a concept car built entirely around the idea of a gaming space. BMW says it will add games to some cars next year through a partnership with AirConsole.
Self-Driving May Be a Long Way Away
The self-driving bit may be the bigger challenge. By some estimates, automakers have poured more than $100 billion into the quest to build a true self-driving car. They’re nowhere near achieving it, and the federal government is reportedly considering criminal charges against Tesla over how it advertises its efforts.
Related: Self-Driving Cars — Everything You Need to Know
That makes Sony Honda Mobility’s (how are they going to fit that on a trunk lid?) goal of producing its first products in 2025 seem aggressive. We wouldn’t be surprised if their first vehicles let you play “God of War” while parked. It may be a while before you can crash in “Gran Turismo 7” behind the wheel without replicating the accident in the real world.