If you were thinking that Microsoft only had one more Surface tablet up their sleeves with the Microsoft Surface Pro, think again. Some juicy rumors this week have indicated that the company may be planning to release an Xbox-branded Surface tablet as well, with all new hardware specifications built especially for gaming purposes.
If you picked up the Surface RT over the last week, you’ll know that it is not a tablet for hardcore gaming. The Surface Pro will not be either when it releases in January, as Microsoft are only putting Intel Integrated HD graphics inside, which definitely won’t be able to run the likes of Skyrim with ease.
Clearly, with popularity and consumer interest in the Surface, there is an opportunity for Microsoft to fill that gaming gap, with another iteration of the tablet that will provide an Xbox gaming fix on the go. The Verge has published a report recently, suggesting that the device is already a reality and that it will be fitted with custom ARM processor and high-bandwidth RAM to handle hardcore gaming tasks.
Another pleasing note is that the Xbox Surface won’t run the same version of Windows 8 that the RT and Pro models have on board. Instead it will run a customized UI, with Microsoft prioritizing gaming as a focus first ahead of any other tablet features. The pressing question that many will want to know is – when will this Xbox tablet be out?
It’s no secret that everyone is expecting the next-generation Xbox 720 console to come out around this time next year. The source above mentions that the Xbox tablet will be out before the next-gen console, so could we possibly see this as the perfect E3 2013 reveal? That would give Microsoft the perfect device to tout the tablet abilities of Xbox SmartGlass, that we have seen hints of this year after all.
We’re not sure about you, but we think this is a great idea. An Xbox tablet may have been frowned upon a few months ago, but now that the Surface is out, we are really excited to see how Microsoft can adapt their product to make it Xbox-friendly. How will it be able to handle FPS games though – wireless controller support maybe? Or should they stick to touch-screen based games only?
It’s early days yet, so let us know your initial thoughts on this as we await an official confirmation from Microsoft.