Tesla Removes Steam Support From Model S and Model X Vehicles as a Cost-Cutting Measure

Tesla removes Steam support 7 photos
Photo: Tesla
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Tesla Model S and Model X come with powerful AMD Ryzen processors that can run Steam games. However, in the latest cost-cutting move, Tesla decided to cripple the gaming computer. People ordering a Model S or Model X recently were surprised to see a notification that their vehicles will not be able to play Steam games.
Tesla installed a powerful infotainment computer in its vehicles, starting with the refreshed Model S and Model X in 2021. The so-called MCU3 uses an AMD Ryzen processor instead of Intel Atom, which gives it a lot more oomph in the graphics department. This is why one of the unique selling points of the refreshed Model S/X was the ability to run demanding 3D games. Tesla later doubled down on this with integrated support for Steam games in its flagship models.

To run Steam games, Tesla had to double the amount of memory and storage of Model S/X infotainment systems from late 2022. This means earlier vehicles were incompatible with the Steam platform despite having the same AMD Ryzen processor. We've seen a similar move later, with the transition of the Model Y to the Hardware 4 infotainment system. Although the HW4 Model Y could theoretically run Steam, it only has 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, which don't meet Steam's minimal requirements (16 GB RAM and 256 GB storage).

To be fair, Steam was never officially supported on the Model 3 and Model Y, being an exclusive feature to the Model S and Model X. When Tesla launched the Cybertruck, people expected it to come with Steam support. However, Tesla again decided to install only 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage, despite the $100,000 price tag. This disappointed early Cybertruck owners. Many hoped that Tesla would install more memory later, as it did with the Model S and Model X in 2022.

However, it looks like this will not be the case, and Steam support in Tesla EVs is on its way out. Instead of bringing Steam to more models, Tesla removed it even for Model S and Model X. People who ordered one recently were greeted with a message informing them that Tesla has "updated" the gaming computer, removing the ability to play Steam games. Most likely, the change was made so that Tesla could save some bucks on RAM and storage.

Currently, no Tesla model in production can run Steam games, and likely never will. Whether Tesla will continue supporting existing vehicles delivered with compatible hardware remains to be seen. As with other features, Tesla might argue that few people played Steam games anyway. Some Tesla fans are already adopting this narrative on social media, even though they used to brag about the same feature one year ago.

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Editor's note: For illustration purposes, pictures in the gallery show various Tesla games that are available outside the Steam platform

About the author: Cristian Agatie
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After his childhood dream of becoming a "tractor operator" didn't pan out, Cristian turned to journalism, first in print and later moving to online media. His top interests are electric vehicles and new energy solutions.
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