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2023 Toyota Sienna Long-Term Update: How to play a PlayStation in the back seat

Bynewsmagzines

Jun 9, 2023
2023 Toyota Sienna Long-Term Update: How to play a PlayStation in the back seat

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In my latest update of our long-term 2023 Toyota Sienna Platinum AWD, I poked around and found all the various ports and plugs for powering and charging devices and accessories. Our tester, equipped with the rear-seat entertainment package, has a 120-volt plug and HDMI port on the back of the center console. So, I did the next logical thing: I hooked up my Sony PlayStation 5 to see if it played nicely with the Sienna. Here’s how that went.

First I opened up the ceiling mounted display, plugged the PS5 power cord into the inverter plug, and hooked it up to the HDMI input as well. I checked to see if there was power to the plug with the vehicle turned off. There isn’t. I turned the car on, though, and still had no power. A quick Google search reminded me of the button labeled “AC 120V” on the dash to the left of the steering wheel. I turned that on, and was able to fire up the PlayStation.

I checked the screen and, voilà, there was my PS menu. First, a couple notes about the rear-seat entertainment system in the Sienna … 

It’s a single screen mounted from above, as opposed to dual screens on the back of the front headrests. That’s great for everyone getting a view — especially for third-row passengers — but it means the folks in the second row need to crane their necks to watch. Thankfully, the captain’s chairs have armrests to lean on. The other issue is that the screen blocks the driver’s view in the rearview mirror. A rearview camera mirror is optional.

The rear-seat entertainment system comes with a remote control, as well as two pairs of wireless headphones so the driver doesn’t have to listen to whatever the passengers are watching (though you can listen to the audio through the car’s speakers if you prefer). Third-row passengers can plug into the headphone plugs next to their seats.

Also, the sunshades on the rear windows help to reduce any glare.

After that, I was good to go. I fired up Star Wars: Jedi Survivor, and it played just fine. It’s not quite as comfortable as gaming on an actual television. Again, you’re not looking straight ahead and, also, you’re sitting a little closer to the screen than is comfortable. It’s a little better for passively watching something, as my eyes were straining as they searched for details when trying to spot items or find the next location to visit. 

There are some things to remember if you’re hooking up a console to the system. One, the power only works if the car is on, so if you turn off the car before fully powering down the PlayStation, you’ll end up getting one of those “Playstation was not properly shut off,” and you’ll worry about your save files being corrupted. You also have to remember to hit that “AC 120V” button every time you turn the car back on if you want to use that plug.

I admit I was surprised by how seamless it all came together … once I figured out that that button up front had to be pressed on. There were no issues with the power source, nor with recognizing the HDMI. I just plugged it in, turned it on, and the screen came alive. It behaved better than my basement TV.

As for the rear-seat entertainment system, there are a few options at various price points, whether you get it bundled with the digital rearview mirror, a spare tire and/or 50-state emissions qualifications. The lowest point of entry for the rear-seat entertainment package is $1,715, which is what’s in our tester. That includes the 11.5-inch 1080p display, HDMI input, remote and two pairs of wireless headphones, as well as the 1500-watt inverter (along with two 120-volt plugs) and 50-state emissions. At $1,790, you don’t get the 50-state emissions, but you do get the digital rearview mirror and Homelink transceiver (for garage doors and whatnot), as well as a spare tire. Moving up to the $1,915 package keeps the digital mirror and Homelink, and adds the 50-state emissions, but does away with the spare tire.

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