CES 2023: Sony and Honda's Afeela might be the 'PlayStation Car' after all
Powered by Qualcomm and Epic Games, the new luxury car brand is expected to go head to head with BMW, Mercedes-Benz and Audi
➡️ The Shortcut Skinny: Sony Honda Afeela
🚙 Sony has taken the wraps off Afeela, its joint venture with Honda
💰 The premium car brand will compete with BMW, Mercedes, etc.
⚡ Software development will be led by Sony, with a hand from Epic Games
🔌 The hardware will be powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon technology
🎮 Pre-orders are expected to go live in 2025 with a release in 2026
After months of teasing, Sony and Honda have officially revealed their collaboration as one major announcement among many CES 2023 cars stealing the show – including a color-changing sedan from BMW. Afeela is the new premium automotive brand from Sony Honda Mobility and it has a slew of major players backing it. Not only will Sony and Honda be involved, naturally, but Qualcomm Snapdragon will power many of its components while Fortnite’s Epic Games will have a hand in the UI.
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In-cabin entertainment is nothing new in the EV space – in fact, we’ve seen Nvidia and Samsung detail their own infotainment approaches at CES 2023. What’s unique is Sony's position in the market. The company already has an established gaming presence, which is only bolstered by the partnership with Epic Games. Sony has already said it anticipates subscription services to make their way to Afeela, meaning we could see the arrival of the best PS5 games for the first time ever in a motorized vehicle through PlayStation Plus.
As a premium brand, you can expect Afeela’s pricing to fall in line with that of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Audi and other luxury car brands. What’s interesting, however, is that Honda already has a premium vehicle lineup in Acura. This calls into question where Acura falls in the chain. As far as I know, the Precision EV concept is still in the works, so it’s not yet clear what will differentiate Afeela. Another unknown is whether Sony is involved in the development of Honda’s other electric cars like the 2024 Prologue.
Most likely that won’t be the case, at least not at first, seeing as Afeela pre-orders aren’t going live until 2025 with shipments kicking off the following year. That said, Honda says it will be releasing 30 electric vehicles by 2030, so it may need all the help it can get.