It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Elon Musk is a gamer. The CEO of Tesla and SpaceX has referenced pop culture again and again in both his businesses and personal life, which he broadcasts loudly on Twitter.
In 2018, Teslas gained the ability to transform themselves into retro Atari consoles. Those gaming choices have expanded since, but remained in the retro market. Until soon, possibly: Musk teased this week the ability to play a more modern game, from the Witcher series, on Twitter.
Accessing games within Tesla console once required the car to be placed in park, tapping the Tesla logo on the console screen, pulling down the screen, and then tapping the Atari logo within. While having Easter Eggs in a car was fun, the company has since moved the popular feature into its console’s main menu.
The games have certainly proven to be a welcome distraction for Tesla owners, who have posted videos of themselves playing on dedicated subreddits. Perhaps sensing a good thing, Musk has trawled Twitter in the past, looking for more retro games to fill out the car’s veritable library of old-school games.
Adding a Witcher game would be a huge step up from classics like Centipede or Missile Command. There are modern games within the Tesla console already, like Cuphead, Fallout Shelter, and Stardew Valley. While these games all present modern challenges, they are also all consciously within a retro style. Witcher games have a fantasy setting, but would likely consume far more computing power than any of the prior games.
It’s unclear which Witcher game Musk wants playable in Teslas. There are three of them, the first of which came out in 2007 and the most recent in 2015. While the third Witcher game, Wild Hunt, is far and away the most well-known of the three (it won Game of The Year at the 2015 Game Awards), all three are massive games that could pull resources from a Tesla’s battery.
Wild Hunt has been ported over to the Nintendo Switch system, which is less powerful than either a Playstation 4 or an Xbox One, so it doesn’t take that much of a leap of imagination for a car to have the pure processing power to handle a game as complex as Wild Hunt. But the question emerges: would it be any fun to play a game of its size inside a car?
The Switch system promotes its versatility, with the ability to play on the go and on a larger system. A Tesla gaming system is literally the reverse: it can only be played in a parked car. It’s even less versatile than a traditional console, which could be carried in a backpack somewhere. Fans of Witcher 3 have spent years exploring its terrain, and have estimated the size of its map to be 45 kilometers squared, or approximately somewhere between 17 and 18 miles squared. A full game takes approximately 200 hours to play.
It’s hard to imagine sitting in a car for that long, exploring the vast world of Toussaint on a tiny screen. Perhaps it would be more enjoyable if a user could port their saved game from another system, but Musk offered no suggestions along that front.
As it stands, Musk appears to just be exploring the idea. His poll on Twitter, which has over half a million votes, is tilted towards a yes answer (it’s hard to say, no, I have the plague) and voters have responded overwhelmingly. If his Twitter feed is any indication, he has been watching the Netflix adaptation of the book series which inspired the games, referencing the show’s surprise hit song “Toss A Coin To Your Witcher” whenever he gets a chance.
As is often the case, it’s hard to tell if Musk is joking or not.