Car manufacturer BMW are set to launch in-car gaming in their BMW 5 series in partnership with AirConsole, after first announcing their partnership back in October of 2022.
AirConsole allows users to play a variety of games through a central screen, using phones as controllers, and functions the same with in-car entertainment systems as it would with a tV. The company previously partnered with BMW to bring casual gaming to their cars for passengers, however this new integration will allow drivers and passengers to play multiplayer titles together while the vehicle is stationary. This includes AirConsole’s own mobile-style titles and cult hit Overcooked.
In a statement during their initial partnership in October of 2022, senior vice president of BMW group connected company development, Stephan Durach commented, “With AirConsole we will leverage innovative technologies combined with a broad variety of fun and multiplayer games. This will make every waiting situation inside the vehicle, such as charging, an enjoyable moment.”
You can drive my car
The announcement follows on from a number of other mobile game makers and car manufacturers partnering to bring their titles to cars, as the proliferation of in-car touchscreen entertainment tech takes hold.
Rovio has a deal with Mercedes-Benz to bring their flagship title Angry Birds to their cars, while Outfit7 announced that Talking Tom Friends would be coming to all vehicles with Google automotive service integration.
The appeal of mobile games on in-car touchscreens and the use of mobile as a remote controller or peripheral for cars is clear. Given that many mobile titles are built purely for touchscreen use it means that the existing support for this format avoids having to adapt the game. And where touchscreens within the vehicle itself are limited, using a phone as an additional controller adds options for viewing and touch.
We’re just seeing the beginning of where in-car entertainment is going and how that is inextricably linked to the mobile gaming world. With the technology now all in place, it’s just a question of how quick adoption may be.