Hyundai and Polestar Join Tesla, Add Video Games to Cars

What’s the one thing you’ve always wanted in your car that never existed? Probably not video games, if we’re being honest. How often do you sit in your car long enough to play something when it’s not running? Of course, it’s great for rear-seat passengers during a long road trip, but automakers like Tesla implemented gaming on the front, center dashboard screen. That means owners can only make use of it when the car isn’t being driven. However, Hyundai and Polestar found their own way of adding video games to cars, which might be better than Tesla.

Hyundai and Polestar announce Nvidia partnership

2024 Hyundai Kona and Polestar products will soon get cloud-based video games in cars from Nvidia GeForce Now.
2024 Hyundai Kona crossover | Hyundai

For companies like Hyundai and Polestar to implement video games in their vehicles, they need a partnership with a premier gaming company. Fortunately, both were able to accomplish their goal with Nvidia, a PC-focused technology company that manufactures many things. It’s most well-known for creating graphics processing units (GPU), which are ultra-popular among PC-gaming enthusiasts. As a result, it’s the perfect partner for automakers to get video games performing well inside a vehicle.

Both partnerships bring Nvidia’s GeForce Now cloud-based gaming service to some of their cars. Nvidia says the service “delivers a full PC-gaming experience to nearly any device, including laptops, mobile devices, smart TVs – and now, personal vehicles.” Users can download over 1,500 games, including some of the most popular. Leading stores for PC users like Steam, Epic Games Store, Ubisoft Connect, and GOG.com are available from GeForce Now. That means everything from free-to-play games like Fortnite and Apex Legends to titles you must buy, like Elden Ring and Cyberpunk 2077, are available.

How do video games in cars work?

A Tesla infotainment screen features tons of Steam video games playable through the console.
Tesla Steam page | Tesla via Twitter

According to Kelley Blue Book, the GeForce Now cloud-based gaming service is just that, a service. That means a subscription is required, as the product will run using a 4G or 5G connection on the road. Users can likely use their home or another Wi-Fi connection when it’s available instead. However, many new cars come with a free trial period for a Wi-Fi hotspot, and almost all modern vehicles can get it for a cost.

Since gaming in your car is cloud-based, most probably won’t require downloading significant updates or full games. Instead, the game will be streamed like a Netflix show or movie to the car. Unfortunately, this could lead to unstable connectivity while driving. Especially for long single-player games that require manual saves, it could be a bit frustrating to drop the connection and lose progress.

Nvidia did not reveal if steps have been taken to prevent that from happening. One possibility is that the cloud-based game is also constantly saving itself to the cloud, so when you reconnect, you’d be in the same position as before.

Tesla and BMW added video games to cars

Related

Holiday Gift Guide 2021: Best Racing Video Games For A Car Enthusiast

Hyundai and Polestar are just the latest in a line of automakers to add video games to cars. Clearly, this has become a trend, and we expect to see more automakers do the same in the near future. Tesla recently created an update allowing Steam to run perfectly on its EVs, providing owners with thousands of games. Additionally, BMW announced it plans to bring AirConsole games to its cars sometime during 2023.

In conclusion, Hyundai and Polestar have joined Tesla in adding video games to their cars. In a partnership with Nvidia, which famously creates GPUs, the pair of automakers will launch cars running GeForce Now, a cloud-based gaming service. Unfortunately, it requires a 4G or 5G connection, so owners will need to pay for a subscription service to play video games. Hyundai and Polestar did not announce which vehicles would get the service first.