Think your new iPad mini’s the perfect tablet for gaming on the go? Well it may have some stiff competition ahead. Microsoft is said to be secretly planning a 7-inch “Xbox Surface” tablet that will be developed specifically for touch-based gaming. The slate is expected to make its debut before Microsoft announces the Xbox 720.
The Verge reports that the tablet won’t just be a 7-inch version of Microsoft’s Surface tablet. Instead, it’ll be a dedicated gaming device that will include a custom ARM processor — possibly one that hasn’t been announced by Intel yet — and high-bandwidth RAM for power-hungry tasks.
It won’t run a full version of Windows, but a custom Windows kernel focused on gaming. It may allow Messaging and some other tablet functions, according to the report.
Microsoft is said to be keeping the Xbox Surface a closely-guarded project at its offices in Silicon Valley, and it has reportedly been separated from partners that traditionally develop the Xbox console. The device is expected to be manufactured in the same factory as the Xbox, while the next-generation Xbox 720 will be manufactured by third-parties like Pegatron or Foxconn.
Microsoft recently “locked down” a number of Xbox buildings to limit employee access while it increases its testing of the tablet, The Verge reports. It’s unclear when the device might make its debut, but it should happen before Microsoft announces the Xbox 720.
As things stand, the iPad is undoubtedly the best tablet on the market for gaming. Apple’s App Store provides access to hundreds of thousands of games that sell for as little as $0.99. Android tablets are also great for gaming on the go, but Google Play doesn’t seem to offer quite the same selection of titles.
Whether Microsoft’s Xbox Surface can change all that remains to be seen. But I’m not convinced many people want a tablet that’s built for gaming and little else. And if its games aren’t as cheap as those on the iPad, Microsoft may have a problem convincing us that the Xbox Surface is a worthy purchase — even if it does have Halo exclusivity.
What do you think?
Source: The Verge