Hyundai, Polestar and BYD will be among the first automakers to bring Nvidia's cloud PC gaming service on the road.
Motorists looking for a way to keep backseat drivers occupied or stay entertained while waiting for an electric car to charge will soon have a new entertainment option. Semiconductor manufacturer and graphics processing giant Nvidia announced today that its GeForce Now cloud streaming game service will be coming to automotive dashboards and rear seat entertainment systems. Korean Hyundai Motor Group -- with Kia and Genesis under its umbrella -- along with Swedish EV brand Polestar and Chinese automaker BYD will be the first to bring the service to their vehicles.
All three automakers listed in the announcement use Nvidia's Drive hardware to power the advanced graphics in their vehicle infotainment. For GeForce Now, however, Nvidia's cloud will do the heavy lifting. The announcement implies that almost any in-vehicle infotainment system with access to a browser and a 4G or 5G data connection should be capable of accessing GeForce Now to select and launch games on the go. Players will presumably need to pair a controller with their car's browser via Bluetooth or USB in order to actually play, which may not be an option on systems that aren't designed with gaming in mind. That sort of connectivity is sure to be baked into Hyundai, BYD and Polestar's setups.
The tech should work similarly to the way it currently plays on phones, tablets and laptops, with the games running on Nvidia's powerful cloud gaming server farms and streamed to the player's screen over an ideally low-latency connection. The only difference here is that the screen is now one of the vehicle's infotainment displays or part of a rear-seat entertainment system. (Perhaps even BMW's awesome 31-Inch 8K theater screen?)
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Once connected, players should be treated to a full PC gaming experience, with over 1,000 titles spread across the Steam, Epic Games Store, Ubisoft, EA and GOG marketplaces as well as a variety of popular free-to-play titles. With a paid premium subscription, you'll also be able to upgrade to RTX ray-traced graphics for certain games.
Nvidia is careful to note that it doesn't intend for you to play BeamNG.drive while actually driving -- that would be, well, ludicrous. The company says this new application of GeForce Now should limit front-seat game-streaming access to parked vehicles, such as charging EVs. Passengers should be free to game on rear-seat displays, if so-equipped, when the vehicle is in motion.
Today's announcement didn't include a timeline for exactly when we can expect GeForce now to start hitting dashboards, but we expect to learn more as CES 2023 ramps up in Las Vegas this week.