As automakers install larger and larger screens into vehicles, traditional big-screen features have followed. Tesla introduced Passenger Play a few years ago, allowing people to play video games through its infotainment system, and BMW is joining the fray with its own setup.
BMW will partner with AirConsole to bring single-player and multiplayer games to the BMW Curved Display. AirConsole, based in Switzerland, is a company that developed a gaming platform that provides access to casual games on TVs and in-car entertainment systems. Games played in BMW models will run directly inside the vehicle’s entertainment software, and players will control it with their smartphone.
Gallery: BMW Curved Display Video Games
This will give passengers an opportunity to mindlessly pass the time while they are waiting in their vehicle. Stephan Durach, the senior vice president of BMW Group Connected Company Development, said the tech could make waiting for your vehicle to charge “an enjoyable moment.” As BMW and others shift to EVs, automakers will implement services to keep passengers entertained during longer charging stints.
According to AirConsole’s website, its main focus is local multiplayer gaming experiences. It offers over 185 game titles on PC, but it’s unclear how many of those will be available on BMW’s Curved Display. Games include titles such as Let’s Cook Together, Mega Monster Party, GoKartGo! Air!, 8Bit Fiesta, Burning Rubber 5 Air, and many more casual games. You won’t find titles like Cyberpunk 2077, Elden Ring, or Call of Duty on the service.
All a person needs to play is a smartphone, which users can connect to the display via a scannable QR code, and BMW’s curved display. Scanning the code establishes the connection between the two devices, allowing players to enjoy the gameplay. BMW will bring the tech to its cars in 2023, and it’s unclear which models will offer the service.
This isn’t BMW’s first push toward offering in-car entertainment this year. In January, the automaker revealed the BMW Theatre Screen, a massive 31.0-inch display with Amazon Fire TV functionality. It debuted in the new 7 Series, and there’s no word if the Theatre Screen will also feature AirConsole games. BMW previewed the screen with an HDMI port, which would allow the Xbox and PlayStation consoles to connect to it.