Sony has unveiled a prototype in collaboration with Honda which allows you to stream PS5 games from the passenger seats of an electric car. Bizarrely, unless Sony announces anything before the Honda Afeela goes on sale, this means you’ll be able to stream PS5 games on a car before any other devices outside of the PlayStation ecosystem.
After months of speculation, Sony and Honda announced at CES 2023 they aim to launch the Afeela smart car in 2026. Sadly, this means we won’t see truly mobile PS5 games for some time – yes, I’m considering the Afeela the spiritual successor of the PS Vita.
Instead of including any local PS5 gaming hardware in the Afeela, games will be streamed to passengers’ screens. That does mean you won’t be able to use discs to play games when in areas with poor internet service, and you better save before going into any tunnels.
It’s not just the insides of the Afeela which can stream content, as it was revealed during Sony’s CES 2023 Press Conference that there is a ‘media bar’ screen on the vehicle's exterior, too. Apparently, that can be information like the weather and the car’s battery level, but also adverts. This was demonstrated with an advertisement for Spider-Man: No Way Home displayed on the vehicle’s roof. As for whether you’ll be able to project gameplay out onto the screen as you go remains to be seen.
The CEO of Sony Honda Mobility, Yasuhide Mizuno, stated that pre-orders will begin in the first half of 2025 with the first sales expected to go live at the end of the year. With this Sony CarStation still likely to be three years away, if it ever goes into consumer production, the point remains as to why we’re seeing cloud streaming in a motor vehicle before a gaming TV. Especially considering TVs is something Sony has a significant stake in already.
When will we see PlayStation streaming on the TV?
While the revised PS Plus Premium subscription effectively rolled in the PS Now streaming options into its service, there are still no options to stream directly to a smart TV. To make use of PS Now, you need a PS4 or PS5 connected to the screen. And, to make use of Remote Play, you need to stream gameplay from the console to a nearby computer or phone screen. Sony has been making some leading TV sets for decades now through the Bravia line, and yet it’s announced no plans for a dedicated cloud gaming app.
The closest we came to date was the PS TV, a micro-console repurposing the ill-fated PS Vita as a set-top box nearly 10 years ago. Considering that the technology exists to be able to stream PS5 and PS4 games already with no strain on physical hardware, this development would make gaming on the platform much more accessible to those struggling to find PS5 stock still.
We know that it’s not an impossibility for games to be streamed to the TV because Sony’s competitors offer this feature. Last year, Nvidia revealed that its GeForce Now platform, which utilizes some of the best graphics cards to stream over 1,500 games came to Samsung 4K smart TVs.
Last year we saw Microsoft partner with Samsung to stream Xbox Game Pass games to Samsung TVs with the Samsung Gaming Hub. Microsoft has been pushing to get its catalog onto as many screens as possible with its Xbox Cloud Gaming tech, so it’s strange to see Sony lag so far behind when it already has key parts of the ecosystem in its control. It has the PS Plus Catalog, PS Now streaming tech, and its own family of TVs, it looks like missing an open goal.
Though perhaps this announcement of streaming games to the Afeela is a hint of what we may see coming to other screens between now and the car’s launch in 2026.
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Aleksha McLoughlin is the Hardware Editor for TechRadar Gaming and oversees all hardware coverage for the site. She looks after buying guides, writes hardware reviews, news, and features as well as manages the hardware team. Before joining TRG she was the Hardware Editor for sister publication GamesRadar+ and she has also been PC Guide's Hardware Specialist. She has also contributed hardware content to the likes of Trusted Reviews, The Metro, Expert Reviews, and Android Central. When she isn't working, you'll often find her in mosh pits at metal gigs and festivals or listening to whatever new black and death metal has debuted that week.