BMW today announced that it is partnering with AirConsole, a casual gaming platform that uses smartphones as the controller and will be run through BMW’s infotainment system.
“With AirConsole we will leverage innovative technologies combined with a broad variety of fun and multiplayer games,” said Stephan Durach, Senior Vice President BMW Group Connected Company Development. “This will make every waiting situation inside the vehicle, such as charging, an enjoyable moment.”
While BMW didn’t elaborate further, we have to assume that you can only play games when the vehicle is stationary.
AirConsole advertises itself as an easy way to play multiplayer games on any screen, including the BMW Curved Display, which is made up of a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch infotainment.
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To play, occupants need only scan a QR code on the screen to connect their phone to the game and use it as a controller. BMW says that the games will be run entirely through its entertainment system.
“We are extremely proud to spearhead gaming inside vehicles with BMW and are excited to create new games for in-car entertainment,” said Anthony Cliquot, CEO of N-Dream, which owns AirConsole. “Our ingenious architecture coupled with the ease of access of our platform will change the way people get entertained in their vehicles.”
The automaker doesn’t go into detail about its arrangement with AirConsole will work, but on other screens, the “Starter Pack” is free. In order to gain access to all available games, play with unlimited numbers of friends, gain skins and items, and see no ad breaks, an “AirConsole Hero” subscription is required. This costs $7.99 per month, but there are significant discounts for subscribing annually.
The number of games available to play varies depending on the system you’re playing through. People playing on PCs, for instance, have access to more than 180 games, but those playing on a GoogleTV can play around 90 games, while those playing on an Amazon Fire TV have access to just 60. BMW has not stated how many games will be available through its vehicles.
AirConsole will be available to BMW drivers starting in 2023 with further details to be announced at a later date.