In short: BMW knows that charging electric cars can take some time, and its latest partnership aims to give owners of the new all-electric 5 series something to do while waiting. Infotainment functionality will eventually appear in other BMW models.
This week, BMW unveiled its new all-electric sedan 5-series BMW i5. One of the new infotainment features of the electric car lifts the veil of the partnership, which the company announced last fall, with the AirConsole gaming platform, showing which models will get access and when.
When the car is stationary, passengers can turn on the AirConsole to play a number of casual local multiplayer games on the dashboard screen. They can scan the QR code on the screen with their smartphones to turn the phones into controllers. Playing games or streaming video on the dashboard can help pass the time while the car is charging, which may take some time.
AirConsole currently offers this feature at home via the Android TV, Google TV and Amazon Fire TV apps or on a PC via a browser. BMW’s agreement represents its debut in the automotive field.
Users should keep in mind that the choice of games is different on each platform. While the browser version offers a full library of almost 200 titles, the BMW i5 starts with about 15, including Go Kart Go, Golazo, Music Guess and Overcooked, and there will be more.
Most AirConsole games look like third-party versions of popular games such as Mario Kart, Worms, Tetris and Wordle. Even if they’re not exactly the same, connecting smartphones that passengers probably already have is cheaper than installing a Nintendo Switch with four controllers in the car.
BMW celebrated the partnership by offering a BMW i5 with a special coloring focused on games. It covers the car mostly in dark purple with pixelated patterns and icons to indicate buttons (which AirConsole ironically does not use).
The new sedan will be on the market in October. The AirConsole will eventually appear on BMW 7 Series, BMW iX and BMW i4 cars produced after July 2023. BMW X5, BMW X6, BMW X7, BMW XM, BMW X5 M and BMW X6 M cars produced after August will also receive this functionality. .
As dashboard screens get bigger (the i5 has 12.3-inch and 14.9-inch displays), cars are adding more and more advanced infotainment features for downtime. Next year, Mercedes Benz E-class sedans will be able to participate in telephone conferences. Last year, Tesla began introducing PC games via Steam in Model S and X cars.