Deathloop, huh. My colleagues have been vocal about this game in TechRadar’s work Slack channel, but as I’m a gamer who doesn’t stray too far from two main game franchises (FIFA and GTA, for those of you wondering) it’s not something I’ve kept up with.
However, in a desperate attempt to remain ‘relevant’ in the eyes of my younger teammates, I decided to take the plunge – but in a rather unusual way.
Instead of loading up Deathloop for the first time with my PS5 connected to a large, 4K living room TV, I instead opted to play it on, and in, the Honda e parked on my drive.
Because yes, the Honda e – a dinky electric car that exudes cuteness – offers up a traditional power socket and HDMI input, meaning I was able to plug in my Playstation and experience this game, for the first time, on the Honda e’s central 10-inch display.
And this, dear reader, as you may have already guessed, was a terrible idea.
A gentle start
I decided to take things slow to start with, breaking out my PlayStation Classic for an initial run.
Setup is super-easy in the Honda e. You connect the HDMI cable to the console and the easily-accessible port between the front footwells, then do the same with the power cable.
You need to turn the car on for this to work, and there’s a button next to the power outlet which you need to press to switch on the power to your externally connected device.
An orange LED on this button lets you know the power is flowing; then, you just tap the ‘HDMI’ tile on the touchscreen display and power-on the console.
The result? The wonderfully soothing and memory-evoking classic PlayStation boot-up audio – and it sounds great in the Honda e, with the electric car’s sound system producing crisp, powerful audio.
I played through the first few levels of Rayman and all was well. There were no obvious signs of lag, the game ran smoothly on-screen and left me wanting more.
It was time to bring out the big gun.
Ready for the big time
While the dinky PlayStation Classic sat nicely atop the center console in the Honda e, and stowed neatly in the glovebox for easy transportation, the PS5 was a different beast.
I managed to balance it horizontally on the center console (the stand it comes with actually fitted neatly in there), but there was significant overhang on either side, which ate into the seat space.
I considered relegating it to the passenger footwell – which would have been fine as I was the only player – but I didn’t fancy getting it that close to the dirt and dust.
The Honda e has a rear row of seats, which I toyed with sitting in, but that would have placed me too far away from the screen, so the driving seat was my location of choice.
With the seat slid all the way back and comfortably reclined, it was the perfect position – or so I thought.
What does it say?
I’d overhead discussions about subtitle text size in Deathloop, so I made sure to select the largest font during setup, thinking I’d be nicely covered on my smaller screen.
While the subtitles were readable without me having to move my head towards the screen, the real issue with text in Deathloop reared its head as I began playing.
There are plenty of on-screen text hints and explainers in the game, especially during your first run as you’re introduced to the various intricacies of the game – but this text is tiny.
It may have been okay on my 65-inch TV, but on the 10-inch screen in the Honda I was having to lean forward at regular intervals to read this text – which significantly impacted my gameplay as I continually stopped my character while I squinted at the words.
It made for an extremely stilted experience, as I was eager to get to grips with the game during my first hour with it, but the lengthy pauses required in order to read the raft of tiny text appearing on screen slowed my progress significantly.
It’s fair to say that Deathloop wasn’t developed with a 10-inch screen in mind, and it was my choice to play it here, but this experience accentuated the game’s widely-criticized accessibility flaw.
For those playing on smaller TVs, or with poor eyesight, the small font size presents a real barrier to enjoying the game.
While the text issue was painful, the rest of the experience was surprisingly good. Can you play PS5 games in the Honda e? Absolutely you can.
It’s a fun party piece, and for owners of smaller consoles, such as the NES Classic, SNES Classic, PlayStation Classic and even the Nintendo Switch, it’s a genuinely plausible way to game.
With electric cars requiring you to stop for longer when you need to recharge the battery, the ability to plug in a console and play your favorite game to help pass the time is a real bonus.
The simplicity of the Honda e’s setup is another positive, and I’d love to see this easy playability feature in more EVs going forward.
We’ve already seen Tesla tout a console-gaming feature in its new Model S and Model X electric cars, and gaming is likely to become an increasingly important part of the entertainment experience in new vehicles.
For now though, I’ll be taking the PS5 back inside, and re-connecting it to my big TV so that I can actually read all that text.