The Sony Honda Afeela car is peak CES, and I’m here for it

All people knew what was coming. Sitting a 50 %-dozen rows back at the Sony press conference the afternoon in advance of the CES present flooring basically opened, you could tell by the layout of the booth — dramatically distinctive from what Sony had in preceding many years — that anything large was likely to be wheeled out.

That a little something, of training course, was a automobile. It was not a big solution. People had been chatting about it on the bus trip to the Las Vegas Conference Middle from the Mandalay Bay Conference Heart, where a fantastic chunk of the get the job done occurs ahead of the CES doors are open. Folks were being conversing about it — in all sorts of languages — in the long line down the hallway that separates two of the greater halls at the LVCC. English. Japanese. Spanish. So numerous other people. And you did not have to in fact know what they have been saying to know what they had been conversing about.

Yasuhide Mizuno, consultant director, chairman, and CEO of Sony Honda Mobility Inc., introduces the Afeela EV at CES 2023. Phil Nickinson/Digital Trends

The different form of the Sony booth was a big convey to. Instead of getting standing-place only, even though there absolutely nevertheless was a reasonable total of that, chairs were established in entrance of a huge stage — the kind of format you’d anticipate so that you can hide a car or truck on just one side, but still have a lot of space for the true presentation. And Sony’s presentation, led by Sony chairman, president, and CEO (a triple threat!) Kenichiro Yoshida, was as excellent as it’s ever been. It deftly weaved a story about telling stories, be it from gaming or leisure or from the cameras that make it all occur.

And then it all came with each other with Gran Turismo. We’re in the seventh iteration of the standout video clip activity franchise, and Sony is of course happy of that. But it is the forthcoming Gran Turismo film from acclaimed director Neill Blomkamp (you know him from District 9 and Elysium, amid many others) that Sony masterfully applied as a crescendo. On phase have been Blomkamp, Sony’s head of PlayStation Productions Asad Qizilbash, and Sanford Panitch, president of Sony Shots Enjoyment Movement Photo Team. They talked about the storytelling. They talked about how it is Sony’s modern cameras that assisted make this movie doable. And they gave us a sneak peek at the movie, which will be unveiled in August 2023.

Gran Turismo director Neill Blomkamp at the Sony press conference at CES 2023.
Gran Turismo director Neill Blomkamp at the Sony press conference at CES 2023. Phil Nickinson/Digital Tendencies

And as race-automobile motion pictures go, it was loud. It was rapidly. It received men and women psyched due to the fact of the way it appeared. For the reason that of the way it felt. Simply because it is a quick-paced movie about a beloved movie video game, proven in a area total of admirers of films, movie games, and, most of all, Sony.

So people have been revved up by the time the Sony Honda Mobility Aleefa — that’s the total put together identify of the venture and the prototype car — made its way on stage. Dozens and dozens of arms holding phones shot into the air, fighting for in-man or woman pics of the auto.

Observing the vehicle in human being, while not particularly up near, is what this sort of factor is all about. It wasn’t news that Sony and Honda are working on a automobile. It was not news that the auto will not ship until eventually 2026. That is four incredibly prolonged several years from now, as competition like Hyundai, Mercedes, BMW, and Volkswagen (to name but a couple) are ramping up their EV production.

A look at the 45 sensors in the Sony Honda Afeela EV.
A seem at the 45 sensors in the Sony Honda Afeela EV. Phil Nickinson/Digital Traits

No matter. The presentation ended and the scrum began, for everyone to get the very same photographs of the similar motor vehicle that you cannot invest in whenever before long.

CES is not about what’s available now, or even in the around long run. It’s about obtaining people fired up about what’s coming eventually. Most likely. With any luck ,.

Afeela is that. It is a smooth EV from two storied Japanese businesses, Sony and Honda. The mere prospect of obtaining a PlayStation 5 (or newer by 2026?!?!) tucked inside is sufficient to excite the most jaded nerd.

And which is just what CES is about.

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