Tesla’s in-car games system could receive an update. CEO Elon Musk suggested that the three Atari games included with the version nine software update to the car’s computer system could roll out support for other features found in modern games, like support for using the smartphone as a controller and offering a leaderboard.
The changes could be among the first coming to the series of retro arcade games since they made their way onto the central dashboard with last month’s update. Musk announced in May plans to bring some games to the computer screen, with suggestions including Fortnite, Crazy Taxi and Deus Ex. Tesla ultimately bundled three Atari games: Centipede, where two players take turns to fire a gun and destroy a giant creature; Missile Command, where two players prevent a city attack; and Lunar Lander, where users have to land a spaceship on the moon, a rather fitting inclusion considering Tesla’s plan to send robots to the moon by 2020. Attaching a phone screen could mean some laid-back gaming, rather than the current layout where players have to hunch over the front screen, and it could pave the way for a more full-fledged gaming environment.
Tesla has long included a series of small easter eggs in the car, but Musk’s recent comments suggest plans to take things further. Earlier this month, he suggested using the Tesla Autopilot system to power a game similar to Pokémon Go, where users seek out other cars using the internal screen. Another suggestion from Musk is a version of the Atari game Pole Position, where the car’s steering column is used to control the virtual racers.
The idea adds onto the list of features potentially destined for version 10. Other features include support for streaming sites like Netflix and YouTube, the first signs of fully autonomous cross-country driving, “navigate on Autopilot” that was pulled from version nine at the last minute, and potentially a new “dog mode” for keeping pets happy.
Musk could provide more details about this gaming plan when he updates investors on the company’s quarterly performance in November.