Sony and Honda are considering integrating the Playstation 5 into its upcoming EVs, which are due to be released under a new brand or joint venture. And in the relatively short amount of time it’s been around now, Sony Honda Mobility has managed to scare both dealers and drivers like me, who are terrified of what a gaming console in a moving car could represent. Sony and Honda are calling this a possibility for now, according to IGN, but given the way that many car makers are scrambling to copy Tesla, a PS5 in a Sony Honda EV could be in the works.
The idea is to enable gameplay, possibly, while Sony and Honda EVs are either stationary or being operated while using some autonomous driving feature, also known as ADAS. The president of Sony Honda Mobility, Izumi Kawanishi, says that AV technology is on the company’s roadmap, and given Sony’s strengths in the entertainment and gaming industries, the company plans to combine all of these to its advantage. Kawanishi explained to the Financial Times:
“Sony has content, services and entertainment technologies that move people. We are adapting these assets to mobility, and this is our strength against Tesla,” said president Izumi Kawanishi, who has headed Sony’s AI robotics business.
“Tesla is not providing any content services,” he said, adding that integrating the PlayStation 5 platform into their cars was “technologically possible”.
Of course, the operative word here is possible. It’s not a sure thing that Sony Honda Mobility EVs will have a console built into their dashboard. Nor is that likely to be what the company is describing. The company is talking about the PS5 platform, so it could involve something much less technical and intensive than a full slot-loading console. Who even uses discs anymore, amirite?
But that’s beside the point, because whether it’s a PS5 or games available on the platform, gaming shouldn’t really be a design priority for car manufacturers at all. And more importantly, the idea of putting a gaming platform into a moving vehicle seems counterproductive to Honda’s goal of having zero traffic collision fatalities by 2050.
As part of that initiative, Honda is pushing a lot of safety tech and, admittedly, ADAS technology that would help drivers in Honda cars and motorcycles avoid major injuries and death due to traffic collisions. The thing is, using ADAS to help someone avoid a crash, and using it to help someone log hours in Final Fantasy VII Rebirth are very different. I wonder what Honda thinks about it. Or whether Honda doesn’t consider EVs from the joint venture “Honda” cars.
Either way, this just doesn’t seem like it’s in the interest of safety. And as IGN notes, if you’re a passenger who’s just eager to play video games on a console in a car — where, regardless of arguments to the contrary, a big screen on a dashboard flashing images of a blue hedgehog and red echidna could easily become a distraction — then maybe bring a portable console, like a Steam Deck or Nintendo Switch. Leave the PS5 at home.