At the CES 2023 showcase in Las Vegas, Sony took to the stage to reveal an upcoming EV brand named ‘Afeela’. This is a joint effort between Sony and Honda, and reportedly, the Afeela car could hit the streets as early as 2026, and it’ll boast untold amounts of technology. At the show, Sony was quick to highlight that PlayStation 5 technology would exist within the Afeela itself, as in conceptual imagery of the car, Horizon Forbidden West was seen being played on screens in the back of the car.
This isn’t the first time we’ve seen a concept car emerge from within the confines of Sony. In January 2022, again at CES, Sony unveiled the Vision-S 02 concept, which again, allowed players in the rear of the vehicle to sit back and relax while playing PlayStation games. It was in October 2022 that ‘Sony Honda Mobility’ first confirmed its intention to launch physical vehicles by 2026, and the reveal of the rather attractive Afeela on the stage at CES 2023 did something to cement that goal.
Can Afeela Rival Tesla?
Reportedly, the President of Sony Honda Mobility, Izumi Kawanishi, endeavours to become a direct competitor to Tesla, producing a vehicle that’s even more of a technological marvel than Elon Musk’s iconic range of cars. There are long-term goals for Sony Honda Mobility to produce a range of autonomous, self-driving vehicles, utilising every ounce of Sony’s developmental experience in AI, virtual reality, entertainment, and AR.
In a bizarre twist, it was also reported that Sony intends to include a subscription service alongside its cars. This could mean that drivers will only unlock certain features if they meet the pre-required subscription tier – but this is what you sign up for when you purchase an intelligent, always-online, autonomous vehicle.
Recently, it was revealed that some of Elon Musk’s Tesla models were updated to include full-fledged access to the driver’s Steam library. When parked, drivers would be able to log into their Steam accounts, access their games, and play them through the Tesla with a compatible controller. So, the concept of including PlayStation technology inside the Afeela isn’t all that ridiculous a notion.
According to a statement, Sony Honda Mobility representatives have a bold vision for the future:
‘We aim to evolve mobility space into entertainment and emotional space, by seamlessly integrating real and virtual worlds, and exploring new entertainment possibilities through digital innovations such as the metaverse.’
Before long, we’ll all be buzzing around in self-driving vehicles, sitting back happily on our journey while we connect to our in-car entertainment systems, tuning out the world and playing the latest games. It’s the future, that’s for sure.