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What just happened? The PlayStation 5 DualSense controller is often hailed as one of the best console controllers of all time. As demonstrated at Sony's CES event, it can even be used to control a real car. The gaming giant has partnered with Honda to create its first electric vehicle, which was driven onstage by an executive using the PS5 input device.
Izumi Kawanishi, president of Sony Honda Mobility, showed off the company's first electric car, the Afeela, at CES using a DualSense controller. A video feed from inside the cabin shows the yoke steering wheel moving as Kawanishi maneuvered the car slowly across the stage (around 29 minutes in the video below).
The idea of several people all controlling their own Afeela with a DualSense in some kind of real-world Forza Horizon might sound cool but Kawanishi did say that the controller was for the purposes of the tech showcase only.
"However, we believe that software can define new function and value. We want to redefine the relationship between people and mobility," he said.
If the Afeela can't be controlled with a DualSense when it goes on sale, why show this sort of functionality on stage? It's likely due to it being the car's third appearance at CES, so Sony wanted to do something that makes headlines – which it has. Plus, it'll probably give hackers ideas.
One Sony influence that will be in the Afeela is the use of Epic Games' Unreal Engine 5.3 within the car's massive infotainment system. The game engine will be used to create 3D maps, virtual spaces, and augmented reality views, capturing details such as vehicles, pedestrians, terrain, and even the weather. CNET writes that the screen can have internet-sourced metadata overlaid on the maps, and that media from Sony's catalog of movies, games, and TV shows will be available for passengers to enjoy, or when the car is parked and charging.
Unreal Engine 5.3 is being used to train the Afeela's multicamera driver assistance systems, too. Sony also announced a partnership with Microsoft that will see the Redmond's Azure AI cloud-scale computing tech used in the car's development.
Sony plans for the Afeela to launch in the US sometime during 2026. The company hasn't revealed details such as price or range. We're also going to see the car in Gran Turismo 7 at some point later this year.