Tesla Is Dropping Support for Steam Games


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Before today, there was one car brand that offered support for Steam PC games in its vehicles. Now, there are none. Tesla has begun alerting buyers of newly manufactured electric vehicles that it has updated its onboard computer. The primary consequence of this change is that Steam games will no longer be available.

Tesla buyers who purchased the Model S or Model X have been seeing email notices of the change. The notice doesn’t provide much information, aside from the lack of Steam game support in the customer’s newly purchased vehicle. Buyers have the option to cancel delivery if being unable to play Steam games is an absolute deal breaker, but that seems unlikely.

“Tesla is updating the gaming computer in your Model X and your vehicle is no longer capable of playing Steam games,” the notice shared on Reddit reads. It goes on to clarify that “all other entertainment and app functionalities are unaffected.”

Tesla announced its Steam beta for Model S and X vehicles in late 2022. The cheaper Model 3 and Model Y were not included in the test. All these vehicles have similar Media Control Units, but Tesla’s rationale for limiting support was that the Model S and X have 16GB of RAM, but the Model 3 and Y only have 8GB. At launch, Tesla allowed games to be played while the car was moving—by a passenger, we hope. It was later forced to block Steam access unless the car was parked or charging.

Steam game performance was never amazing in Tesla vehicles, but it was certainly a fun way to show off or kill a few minutes. Even if it was never a hugely popular feature, it’s odd that Tesla would choose to drop support. It has not announced new MCU hardware, so it’s unclear if there is an actual change to the electronics driving the decision. It’s also plausible that some aspect of development or licensing made the inclusion of Steam support slightly more expensive. Tesla is all about cost cutting lately, as CEO Elon Musk seeks to justify his massive pay package. Cars that already have Steam aren’t losing access—at least not yet.

Odds are Steam support is not a major purchase driver for Tesla, so it’s unlikely to suffer lasting consequences for this decision. That said, it makes the cars a little bit less cool, and being cool is what made Tesla so popular in the first place. Even without Steam, these vehicles still have some gaming options via the Tesla Arcade platform, but the selection varies based on vehicle and region. If you really must play PC games on the go in your Tesla, you’re going to need a Steam Deck or a similar handheld device.

View original source here.

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