Tesla shifting into lucrative video game industry

Tesla launched a beta of the gaming platform Steam in Model S and X vehicles, and some are pointing out how undervalued the shift into video games could be. As Tesla continues developing its Full Self-Driving over the next few decades, gaming in your car could be set to become a lot more common — perhaps even representing an important new disruption for the automaker.

Steam lets Tesla drivers access over 50,000 video game titles from their car, and the unique new feature could be a lucrative step toward the automaker’s plans for what The Street calls a “living room on four wheels.” In other words, as Tesla’s FSD eventually becomes fully autonomous, the in-vehicle gaming industry could grow substantially, and the automaker has already carved out space for itself in the emerging sector.

To be sure, FSD has a long way to go before people are driving and gaming at the same time, and Steam currently only remains available while the vehicle is in park. Tesla has also disabled the Passenger Play feature for safety purposes, though it could eventually change this once in-car gaming becomes more common and optimally safe.

The recent holiday software update activated Steam for Tesla’s newest Model S and Model X vehicles due to their upgraded AMD Ryzen processor and AMD RDNA 2 GPU — which are supposedly powerful enough to run games at PS5-level quality. Tesla is also planning to develop a retrofit for 2021-2022 Model S and X vehicles that aren’t equipped with the right hardware to run Steam games.

Above: Your Tesla is now a gaming rig. Video: Tesla / YouTube

Tesla made its debut in parked-car gaming in 2019 with the introduction of Arcade, a library of its own games offering around 20 titles. With the addition of the Steam beta, Tesla owners will gain access to one of the world’s largest video game catalogs, including games from small, independent game teams and major studios alike.

According to research from Ampere Analysis in a report from CNBC, the global games and services market is expected to reach $188 billion in 2022, despite being hampered by COVID-19-related supply constraints and overall sales reductions. In 2023, the research predicts the market’s sales to grow once again, forecasted at $195 billion.

“After two years of huge expansion, the games market is poised to hand back a bit of that growth in 2022 as multiple factors combine to undermine performance,” Ampere research director Piers Harding-Rolls said.

“Even so, the year will end well ahead of pre-pandemic performance, and the outlook for the sector as a whole remains positive, with growth forecast to return in 2023,” he added.


Sources: The Street / CNBC