With Windows 8 out the door, it’d make little sense to not jump right on board with another rumor, so let’s do that shall we? This time, we’re talking Xbox Surface, a 7-inch tablet that, unlike the Microsoft’s other Surface tablets, will run a modified kernel of Windows and have a major gaming focus, rather than an all-around computing one. The idea is intriguing, and if done right, Microsoft could have a winner on its hands when it releases.
Whereas SmartGlass for phones and tablets aims to deliver some simple functionality between the device and your Xbox, it seems like the Xbox Surface could act independently of the console, and perhaps offer unique games – or better, some Xbox 360 games optimized for the tablet (let’s face it, tablet graphics have matched the Xbox 360 over a year ago). Going further, imagine a tablet where a gamepad can plug into either side, hopefully via USB or something similar. Of course, this is personal speculation, but if Microsoft is hoping for a true Wii U competitor, a real gamepad is going to be required.
If this product does end up seeing the light of day, I’d love to see it offer full, unedited Xbox 360 titles. Without a gamepad, you could still game via on-screen controls. That’s hardly an ideal way to play any game in my opinion, but it’d be cool to have the option nonetheless. If that all happened, the only problem I’d be left with is the fact that the tablet is only 7-inches. For a gaming tablet, 10-inch definitely seems more appropriate, but costs might have decided this form-factor.
I play many games on my Android tablet, but very few of them are what I’d consider console or PC-quality. With this product, Microsoft could deliver a genuine Xbox-like experience if it chooses to. I hope it does.