What you need to know
- Tesla recently rolled out its Holiday Update, bringing new functionality to several of its vehicles.
- The Tesla Model S and Model X support Steam, following the update.
- Tesla owners can play thousands of Steam titles on the large screen of their supported vehicle with a wireless controller.
Tesla just rolled out its Holiday Update to select vehicles. The update adds several features, such as the ability to view the cabin camera from the Tesla app while the car is in Dog Mode or Sentry Mode. It also adds support for playing Steam games on the large display of the vehicles.
Specifically, the Tesla Model X and Tesla Model S now support Steam. The demo video shared by Tesla shows Cyberpunk 2077 to show off the AAA power of the setup. The supported Tesla models work with wireless controllers, such as the Xbox controller.
Playing Steam games on your Tesla requires a Premium Connectivity subscription, which costs $10 a month or $100 per year. Your car also needs 16GB of RAM.
Tesla vehicles run a version of Linux, so you won't have access to the complete Steam library. That being said, Steam's Proton brings a massive number of Windows titles to Linux.
The Tesla Model S and Model X feature powerful GPUs that should be able to handle many of the best PC games. The vehicles have an AMD RDNA 2-based GPU that has 10 teraflops of power. For context, the Xbox Series X has 12 teraflops and the Xbox Series S has 4 teraflops.
AMD CEO Lisu Su discussed the RDNA 2 graphics in select Tesla models back in 2021 (via InsideEVs).
"You might be surprised to learn the next place you’ll find RDNA 2 graphics. It’s actually on the road, in the electric vehicle market, [inside] the new Tesla Model S and Model X," said Su.
"So we have an embedded Ryzen APU powering the infotainment system of both cars, as well as a discreet RDNA 2-based GPU that kicks in when running AAA games, providing up to 10 teraflops of computing power."
The CEO added, "We’re thrilled to be working with Tesla to bring the power of Ryzen and Radeon to their newest flagship cars and looking forward to giving gamers a great new platform for AAA gaming."
Windows Central take — why Steam in a Tesla makes sense
At first glance, it may seem silly to add Steam support to a Tesla. After all, your Tesla is a car, which means you shouldn't play video games while using it. It wouldn't be safe for a passenger to use the vehicle's display to play games either, as it would cause distraction. But that's not what the addition is Steam is for.
Charging a Tesla takes longer than pumping gas into a car. While some people take that time to grab a bite to eat or scroll social media, it can be boring to sit at a charger. Steam support puts thousands of games on a display that you're already sitting in front of if you're charging a Tesla.
Gaming isn't new to Tesla vehicles either. Before the Holiday Update, select models supported Witcher 3, Cuphead, and other games. But Steam support adds thousands of titles to the popular EVs, which should make waiting for a full charge more enjoyable.
Our editor-in-chief Daniel Rubino has a Tesla and plans to try out Steam support and share his thoughts.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com.