Sony Drives its Electric Car Onstage With a PlayStation 5 Controller
We just stepped into 2024 and we are already feeling like we are in a sci-fi novella. We have always talked about how we would have flying cars in the future but the future seems to be now! At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) 2024, we were introduced to flying cars and cars driven by controllers.
At CES 2024, Sony drove the latest version of its concept electric car, Afeela, with its flagship video game controller: The PlayStation 5 DualSense controller. A part of the Sony - Honda joint venture, this concept car was driven onto the stage by Izumi Kawanishi, the president and COO of Sony Honda Mobility.
Driving a Car With a PS5 Controller: Sony Clarifies That it is Only a Tech Demo
After a brief introduction about the Sony Honda Mobility program, Izumi Kawanishi was brought on stage to introduce to the crowd the latest prototype of the Afeela. What he said next surprised the audience and even pulled a few chuckles from them. He said, "First allow me to bring the latest prototype on stage. But today, I will be using this...," while pulling out the PlayStation 5 DualSense controller from his back pocket.
He added, "I'd like to show you an aspect of the software behind the vehicle," and drove the car out, while the camera inside the vehicle captured the movement of the steering wheel.
Those of you who do not know, this is, in fact, the third appearance of the Afeela EV on CES. While the audience was thrilled by the concept of driving a real car with a gaming controller, Kawanishi quickly pointed out that it was just a "tech demo."
However, he noted how Sony and Honda wanted to redefine the relationship between people and mobility and how the partnership aims to "leverage the connection between the real and virtual." It will be interesting to see what plans Sony has in store for its DualSense controller in the future as it continues to explore fields of AI and mobility.
Kawanishi then talked about the features of the car, and one of them that stood out was the on-board entertainment system in the Afeela. It is described as "Driving mobility-integrated entertainment. On the move with movies, music, and games. Create a mobile space of imagination."
According to Sony Honda Mobility, the road is a runway for possibilities. The car has multiple sensors surrounding it and they help convert the world outside into 3D objects inside. "New games in new 3D worlds are under development," noted Sony.
Well, it is so turns out that the Afeela appeals to an average gamer than a car enthusiast as it uses Epic Games' Unreal Engine 5.3 for its 3D graphics and visual renderings that you see on the ultrawide dashboard. Sony Honda Mobility also announced a new partnership with Microsoft to bring its Azure OpenAI to Afeela.
However, we still need to wait before we actually drive this car or any car with a controller. Until then, put the pedal to the metal on your consoles and gaming PCs and show off your racing skills virtually!