Sony Teases PS5 in a Car

The president of Sony Honda Mobility is floating the idea of including a PS5 in a car, noting it’s “technologically possible” in an interview. While Sony-Honda framed it as a competitive advantage against Tesla for its upcoming electric car, is (auto)mobile gaming the future?

Kicking the Tires
To be fair to Sony, these statements seemed meant to test public reception more than anything else. The auto industry is a tough one to break into, especially when Sony Honda’s competitors have a head start.  “Sony has content, services and entertainment technologies that move people, '' said Sony Honda President Izumi Kawanishi. “We are adapting these assets to mobility, and this is our strength against Tesla.”

Are They On to Something? 
Combining video games and cars may not be as crazy as it sounds. Sony did unveil an electric vehicle concept – albeit sans PS5 – at CES 2020. Most notably, Nvidia has been very bullish on self-driving cars, even if it's among its smallest operating segmentsSony may not have the AI expertise of Nvidia, but it has decades of experience designing cameras, sensors, and, of course, entertainment systems.

The Hard Reality
This writer’s inner teenage gamer loves the idea of playing God of War Ragnorok while his car drives him to the store. But Sony’s idea faces several challenges.

  • PR Disaster in the Making: Accidents and injuries are inevitable when people get in cars. Regardless of the specifics, there’s no way to positively spin headlines of “Person Gets in Car Accident While Playing a PS5”
  • "Technologically Possible”: Video game consoles are designed to operate while stationary in a room temperature environment. Any console designed for a self-driving car will have to be engineered (read: be more expensive) to survive anything from freezing winters to triple-digit summers.
    • Tesla had to issue recalls and fixes because they originally tried using non-automotive grade touch screens
Above all, Sony seems to be working on the shaky idea that drivers will want to spend more time in a car to game. While a C-Suite executive being chauffeured around may not mind gaming in traffic, the average commuter is far more likely hoping to simply get out of their car as quickly as possible.
Featured image: Honda