Being an avid gamer, I spent a lot of time playing on PCs and consoles as a kid. When I went on long car trips, I always had my PSP (PlayStation Portable) with me before smartphones and tablets were integrated with all imaginable games. But it’s nice to see car manufacturers keeping players in mind by outfitting their vehicles with special platforms. That’s not really surprising as gaming is becoming more and more mainstream.
AirConsole is a cloud-based online console system specifically designed for local multiplayer gaming. As the industry focuses on hyper-realistic graphics and single-player storytelling, local multiplayer and party games are becoming increasingly difficult to enjoy.
AirConsole is characterized by using a different system compared to traditional consoles – all you need is a screen and an internet connection to start playing. Players can use their smartphones as controllers. For users, this means there is no need to invest in hardware and you can just jump in and play wherever you want. In this case, BMW does not need to install any physical consoles in the car, which translates into less effort and lower costs.
Exclusively for the launch of the new 5 Series, BMW has created a unique gaming look designed by BMW Group Design. It visually transforms the BMW 5 Series Sedan into a gaming station inspired by various games that you can find on the AirConsole platform. It features a unique gaming shell that symbolizes immersion in the gaming experience down to the individual pixels. It also pays homage to the legendary 8-bit era of computer games.
Drivers and passengers can only use the AirConsole platform when the vehicle is stationary. This makes sense as it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to start playing on the go. Let’s imagine you’re waiting for the i5 to charge, or you’ve made an appointment early in the 5 Series and have some time to kill.
All you have to do is launch the AirConsole app through the car’s digital interface and take out your smartphone. To connect, scan the QR code on the BMW Curved Display and you’re good to go. You can play alone, but it’s more fun teaming up with your passengers or competing against each other.
AirConsole offers a large selection of so-called casual games. In case you are unfamiliar with the term, it describes games that are easy to learn and play, and have intuitive controls. The new BMW 5 Series lineup included sports, racing, trivia and music trivia games, as well as strategy, jump-and-run, puzzle and simulation games. Specifically, there are around 15 titles to choose from, including “Go Kart Go”, “Golazo”, “Music Guess” and “Overcooked”.
From my personal experience I can vouch for “Overcooked”. It’s really fun to play with friends – you have to work together and prepare all kinds of dishes that get more difficult with each level and serve them in a restaurant. It may sound overwhelming, but the gameplay is simplified and easy to learn.
The portfolio of available games will be further expanded, as will the BMW vehicles to support the AirConsole app.