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Tesla axes steam support for Model X and Model S vehicles

Tesla has removed Steam support for its latest Model S and Model X vehicles, citing safety concerns and a lack of practicality, despite the feature being designed to only work when the car is parked.

tesla vehicle playing sonic the hedgehog
Image: KnowTechie

Tesla, the electric car juggernaut helmed by the ever-controversial Elon Musk, has decided to pull the plug on Steam support for its latest Model S and Model X vehicles, reports Electrek.

This move signifies the end of an era where one could launch a game like Cyberpunk 2077 from the luxurious comfort of their parked car, a scenario that, truth be told, never really caught on.

Introduced in 2022, the Steam app for Tesla was a testament to the company’s penchant for blending tech wizardry with the everyday convenience of a 12-year-old.

According to Electrek, a recent memo from Tesla reads:

“Tesla is updating the gaming computer in your Model X and your vehicle is no longer capable of playing Steam games. All other entertainment and app functionalities are unaffected.”

For owners of older models, the Steam functionality remains intact. However, if you’re in the market for a new Model S or X, you’ll have to find another way to scratch that gaming itch while parked.

Screenshot of a display showing software features and updates, with the highlight on an arcade section featuring "Sonic the Hedgehog". Text describes the game features, including supersonic speed, defeating Dr. Eggman, and high-speed loops.
Image: Imgur

The Safety Conundrum

While the idea of gaming in your car might sound like a dream, it also raises significant safety questions. Tesla’s Steam app was designed to be operational only when the car was parked to prevent distracted driving.

Let’s not forget this company has been at the center of numerous controversies related to its supervised self-driving technology.

Autopilot, Tesla’s semi-autonomous driving feature, has been implicated in several high-profile accidents, but people seem to forget that cars operated by human drivers are the ones that crash the most.

The Practicality Question

So, who was this feature really for? Perhaps it was aimed at parents looking to keep their kids entertained during long trips. However, since the app only works when the car is parked, it’s hard to see this as anything more than a novelty.

If you’re affluent enough to afford a Tesla, you’re probably better off investing in a Steam Deck or another portable gaming device.

A car dashboard features a screen displaying the video game "Cyberpunk 2077" with a game controller resting on the central console.

The Bigger Picture

As the electric vehicle market becomes more competitive, Tesla needs to balance innovation with practicality and safety, and axing Steam support could be seen as a step in that direction. Probably, but an A for effort, right?

In the grand scheme, removing Steam support will unlikely be a dealbreaker for potential Tesla buyers. And if it is a dealbreaker, well, congrats on turning 13 years old.

Have any thoughts on this? Drop us a line below in the comments, or carry the discussion to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Paul

    June 5, 2024 at 9:34 pm

    Im 32 and still play videogames and I wanted the Steam support.

  2. Kevin Raposo

    June 7, 2024 at 8:55 pm

    I’m 40, and I still play video games. I can see how that last sentence could rub people the wrong way, but that wasn’t my intention. My point was that if you’re considering buying a car, it would be childish if something as simple as Steam support steers you away from buying said vehicle.

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