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BMW Joins Mercedes, Tesla to Make In-car Gaming a Reality

The BMW Group, including BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce, jumped into the in-car gaming world at CES, a consumer electronics trade show, today in Las Vegas. The ninth generation of BMW's operating system utilizes third-party apps and games in the BMW ConnectedDrive Store to deliver the experience to customers.

In addition to games the app store will offer tools for communication, productivity, news and other infotainment. BMW joins Mercedes-Benz, Tesla and others now with ways to play in the vehicle.

"BMW is synonymous with both the ultimate driving machine and the ultimate digital experience," said Frank Weber, Member of the Board of Management responsible for BMW Group Development, in a press release.

"At the CES we are showing more content, more customization and more gaming. This is all underpinned by our in-house developed BMW Operating System. And we will take a look to the future with augmented reality and reliable artificial intelligence at the interaction between human and machine."



At the electronics show BMW showed a game called Beach Buggy Racing 2, a throwback racing video game meant to feel like the home console titles of the '80s and '90s. Two passengers can compete against each other in the same vehicle with a split-screen setup, which the model is parked.

With connected vehicle technology becoming more advanced and popular, it wouldn't be difficult to allow over-the-air play with other BMW drivers, experts believe.

BMW said that players will be able to connect their own favorite controllers to the vehicle via Bluetooth, a feature that is coming via an over-the-air update later this year.

All of this technology is in addition to the AirConsole App, which already lets BMW customers play single and multiplayer games in their car. Those are more casual games, like ones a player would play on their smartphone, which can also be used as a controller. The AirConsole list of games is also being constantly added to.
Games will be available via the BMW Digital Premium, and is only available for models with BMW Operating System 9. It can be found in the ConnectedDrive Store either online, in the MyBMW App or directly from the car.

BMW covers the necessary data usage from the package.

There was a lot of news about in-car gaming a few years ago, first when Tesla boss Elon Musk said that its Model S sedan could run the modern and graphically difficult video game The Witcher 3 and more recently when it added Steam compatibility.

Steam is a video game store and distribution platform and now Teslas with 16 gigabytes of RAM can download and play from a library of thousands of current-generation games.

Mercedes made news offering the casual Angry Birds smartphone game on its infotainment screen in 2023. Now at CES the luxury brand also announced a collaboration with retro games streaming service Antstream Arcade, which will integrate cloud gaming into the car.
The system is showcased in its 2024 E-Class sedan, and in an advanced future version demonstrated at CES.

Gaming formats are universal in their location within vehicles. Screens in front of the driver are not utilized. Instead, a centrally located infotainment screen and screens in front of the passenger