Tesla Holiday Update 2022: your car is now a gaming console – no, really

Users of a Tesla Model X or a Tesla Model S can play games on Steam on the centre console

The Tesla Holiday Update enables users to game on Steam via the cars' centre console
(Image credit: Tesla)

PC or console? PS5 or Xbox Series X? Nintendo Switch, even? It's safe to say, gamers are widely split when comparing different gaming platforms.

But one that you never hear come up in the debates is the Tesla Model S. And that's with good reason – it's a car, not a gaming console. But that distinction no longer needs to be made, thanks to the Tesla Holiday Update 2022. As part of a larger package of new features, the update brings Steam (opens in new tab) access to the centre console on the Tesla Model X and Model S vehicles.

That means that users can login to their Steam account, hook up a wireless controller and start playing on the in-car display. Any of the thousands of games available on the Steam library can be played, with users able to scroll through the titles using the touchscreen display.

On Twitter, a comment war raged between those who thought it was a gimmick and those thinking it was a great idea. On the latter side, many said they would make use of the feature while waiting for their car to charge, or waiting for passengers. One user, miro m. (opens in new tab), praised Tesla's continuing innovation, saying, "Just a car company - which other legacy auto did push a gaming console into your car with OTA? What? No one? Thought so."

Others were less impressed. One user (opens in new tab) pointed out the similarity between this and a smart fridge, stating, "It's like those fridges that you can access Instagram on. A gimmick no one wants."

Okay, so it's hardly the feature most were expecting, but I actually don't think this is a bad call from Tesla. They've put so much time and effort into making their cars autonomous, and having other things to do in the car is surely part of that. If you aren't required to actually drive a Tesla, you may as well have fun playing a game instead.

What's more, this functionality comes as part of a free update. That is a monumental upgrade – even if you need a multi-thousand dollar car to get it!

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.