Tesla is currently rolling out software update 2020.28.6 to its fleet, and it includes several optimizations for its vehicles’ features. Interestingly enough, the update also removes Tesla Arcade from Model S and Model X vehicles in Hong Kong due to local regulations.
The update was related by Tesla in 2020.28.6’s Release Notes. “Due to local regulations, the Tesla Arcade has been removed from your car,” the company noted.
This is not the first time that an in-vehicle feature was disabled for Teslas in Hong Kong. Back in 2014, Model S owners in the country reported that their in-car browsers were disabled following a software update. The reasons behind the feature’s removal did not seem to be disclosed then. In the same light, Tesla has not specified which local regulations in Hong Kong incited the recent removal of Tesla Arcade.
When Tesla disabled the in-car browser for Hong Kong-based Model S cars in 2014, speculations were abounding that the feature may have been considered a potential safety hazard. This potential reason may be tough to argue with regards to the removal of Tesla Arcade, however, since the feature is only accessible when vehicles are on Park.
The same has been true since Tesla Arcade’s earlier days, when it was still dubbed as TeslAtari. When the first Atari games were released for Tesla’s vehicles, the electric car maker made it a point to ensure that the titles could only be accessed when a vehicle is on Park. This makes TeslAtari, and in turn, Tesla Arcade, quite safe to use.
Overall, it is quite disappointing to see Tesla Arcade getting disabled in Hong Kong. This is especially notable considering that Teslas in China actually have a pretty substantial list of in-vehicle games. Some of these titles even support online multiplayer, a feature that is yet to be rolled out to vehicles in other countries. Tesla China is also quite open to gaming partnerships, with the company recently collaborating with popular mobile title Game of Peace.
Elon Musk has stated in the past that he wants Tesla’s vehicles to be the most fun things that customers could buy. Part of this involves fostering a vehicle ownership experience that includes gamification and other in-vehicle entertainment. This has led to Tesla expanding its Arcade titles over the years, from initial classic Atari games to more recent titles like Fallout Shelter.