BMW partners with AirConsole to bring in-car gaming in 2023

Tired: Playing Candy Crush on your phone while you wait in your car to pick up the kids.

Wired: Using your smartphone as a controller to play video games on your BMW’s display screen.

That’s right. BMW is partnering with gaming platform AirConsole to bring a collection of single and multiplayer games to new vehicles, starting with the BMW 7 series next year.

AirConsole was a part of BMW’s Startup Garage, the company’s incubator for new tech that can be used in its future vehicles.

The automaker said AirConsole’s platform fits perfectly with BMW’s curved display and demonstrates the company’s ability to rapidly integrate third-party applications into the vehicle. Games will run directly inside the vehicle’s entertainment system and can be delivered to vehicles over the air.

AirConsole’s games can only be accessed if the car is parked and is therefore impossible to play if the vehicle is in motion “for the passengers’ own safety,” a BMW spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Players will need a smartphone to play, which will serve as the controller, and a connection between the phone and the car will be established by scanning a QR code in the vehicle, the company said.

BMW’s 7 series sedan, which the company launched in April, will also entertain riders with its 31.3-inch 8K Theater Screen with built-in Amazon Fire TV. The series will be built with a hardware update of the head unit that can accommodate the computing capabilities necessary for gaming, according to a BMW spokesperson. Future models will be built with such capabilities and will be able to receive the gaming feature over the air, the company said.