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Gambling in the car: BMW turns the new models into game consoles

Playing video games in the car at the refreshment point or during a recharging break: starting next year, this will be possible in BMW under certain conditions.

Charging interruptions for electric cars can be annoying. But car manufacturers are finding a remedy: on the one hand, modern batteries charge faster and faster, so that the next stage can be started in less than half an hour. On the other hand, companies are considering how to use ever-growing displays for leisure activities:


Tesla has long been able to watch Netflix on the built-in display. Since the beginning of 2021 you can play video games on it. The US company has announced that titles from the popular Steam platform will also be integrated in the future. Other manufacturers are following in the face of increasingly powerful hardware and software in automobiles. BMW has announced that, together with the company AirConsole, it will integrate so-called “casual gaming” into the new cars starting next year. These are games that are easy to play, easy to control, and promise quick success.

The basis for this is the curved display, found in the iX, i4, raised 3 Series or 2 Series Coupe, among others. BMW promises a “large and varied selection of games” that runs directly in the vehicle’s entertainment system. The games are provided online and run directly in the vehicle’s entertainment system.

It is controlled via smartphone: mobile phone and car are connected to each other via a QR code, for example. Players can then start immediately.

AirConsole currently offers more than 180 games via its platform, including racing games, jump’n’run games, and classics like Tetris. Many of the games are aimed at multiple players in multiplayer mode. Whether and when exactly all these games will be available in BMWs is not yet known. AirConsole currently charges $ 1.99 per month for its subscription service.

For safety reasons, the games can only be started when the car is stationary. By the end of 2021, Tesla had received harsh criticism from the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) because several games could also be started while driving after a software update. Tesla referred to a safety notice warning drivers not to gamble: the offer is only aimed at other occupants of the moving car.

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