Automotive

Tesla prepares to add "party mode" and Atari games to its cars

Tesla prepares to add "party m...
Pole position on your car's touchscreen, controlled by the pedals and steering wheel? Yes please.
Pole position on your car's touchscreen, controlled by the pedals and steering wheel? Yes please.
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Pole position on your car's touchscreen, controlled by the pedals and steering wheel? Yes please.
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Pole position on your car's touchscreen, controlled by the pedals and steering wheel? Yes please.

Owners of Model S, X or 3 Teslas will soon be receiving a fun software update that puts classic Atari games like Pole Position on the touchscreen, using the steering wheel as a controller, as well as adding a "party & camper mode" that promises to make electrics the kings of the tailgate party.

In a series of typically casual tweets today, Elon Musk announced a couple of fun new features soon to come in the free V9.0 software release expected within a month.

The first was "party & camper mode," which leverages the giant Tesla battery to run audio systems, power devices, maintain temperature control, air flow and selective lighting. Thus, you can pound out tunes at a tailgate party, or treat the car as your own personal climate-controlled living and sleeping space for "48 hours or more."

The second was to announce that a few classic Atari games would be included as Easter eggs in the update. Why not? After all, the Tesla cars have famously terrific screens, as well as buttons and dials all over the place that could be used for controls.

Furthermore, Musk called on game developers to come apply for jobs, indicating that he's hoping Tesla can produce some unique original games that integrate the screen, your phone, and the physical car in creative ways.

The initial games, said Musk, would hopefully include Tempest, Missile Command and Pole Position – a version that uses the Tesla's actual steering wheel as a control input. If anyone really needs to ask, yes, the car will need to be stopped to play. And we're assuming you don't need to wrench the wheel from lock to lock, just a slight turn should be enough to control the game without twisting the tread off your tires.

Imagine telling an Atari console owner back in the 80s that one day there would be a car that could play all these games on a giant touch-sensitive TV screen in the console – and that this whole functionality would arrive as a surprise wireless update long after you bought the car ... 8-year-old me would have laughed it off as ridiculous, but such are the times we live in!

Source: Elon Musk/Twitter

4 comments
gbsderm
"If anyone really needs to ask, yes, the car will need to be stopped to play." Sorry but that is a valid question...especially considering the starry eyed prognostication of Mr Musk.
SimonClarke
What an amazing idea. a car racing game using a real steering wheel (and I assume pedals).
ljaques
Are any Atari programmers still ALIVE today? <giggle> Silly stunts, Elon, but they sure keep you in the headlines a lot. Don't worry. Someone will figure out a hack to allow playing Pole Position while driving down the freeway.
grtblu
First Tesla needs to learn how to actually build and deliver cars that work and are affordable. So far he's FAILED. Stupid toys in cars , Musk needs to remember ToysRUs (bankrupt).