Xbox Surface: Is Microsoft Building a Gaming Tablet?

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According to a new report, Microsoft is working on a special gaming edition of the recently-released Surface tablet. The device would feature a 7-inch display and ship under the name “Xbox Surface.”

The report, which comes from The Verge, indicates that the Xbox Surface would use a custom-built ARM processor and high-bandwidth RAM, both of which would be specially designed with gaming in mind. Like versions of the Surface currently available, the Xbox Surface would use a special, trimmed-down version of Windows 8.

The device will also reportedly ship with a high-definition 720p display and will feature SD card support.

The Verge says that the top-secret Xbox Surface is being developed by Microsoft in Silicon Valley. So secretive is this project that Microsoft is reportedly limiting employee access to the firm’s Interactive Entertainment Business division.

Reports also suggest that the Xbox Surface could be put into production alongside Microsoft’s long-rumored Xbox 720 console. However, The Verge speculates that the Xbox Surface tablet will ship ahead of its console cousin.

If the rumors are true, expect to see Microsoft roll out special touchscreen versions of its exclusive titles, including Halo, Gears of War, and Forza Motorsport.

My take: if I’m going to game on a tablet computer, I’d prefer to do it using a larger display. If Microsoft wants its Xbox Surface to succeed, I’d suggest stretching the screen out another 2-3 inches.

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