As you may have heard, Microsoft has just announced a new Windows 8 tablet to compete with the iPad. Called the Microsoft Surface, it’s the first time Microsoft has really gone all-in on a first-party hardware project in awhile (since the Xbox, really, unless you want to count Zune) so people are pretty excited. As a replacement for the current iPad, it seems like quite the contender indeed, but none of that is particularly relevant to us, now is it?
How then, might the Surface affect the gaming scene of tomorrow? Well, it seems to have a bunch of features that lend themselves much better to gaming use than other tablets, if we’re talking about more than just mobile games. The Surface’s flagship model with be sporting a full HD display, an Intel i5 CPU, and 128GB of solid state memory. It will also have USB 3.0 ports, allowing for the attachment of all the peripherals required to play PC games.
It seems the gap between tablets (long home to little more than casual smartphone-esque gaming) and proper PCs may finally be bridged, and the Surface might be the one to do the bridging. With specs like that, and full support of the Windows 8 OS, it should be capable of running some of today’s popular LAN favourites. Unfortunately, no specs have been announced as to the Surface’s video capabilities, beyond screen resolution and the like. It’s fairly like that video memory will be shared, and GPU options may be slim indeed.
Regardless, even without a proper GPU, the Surface should be capable of running some of the older titles we all love to fire up now and again. We can expect to see Quake, Doom, CounterStrike, Starcraft: Brood War and many other classic LAN games running smoothly on the Surface.
It seems entirely likely that the Surface will be a new, ultralight option for fans of LAN events. Particularly for fans of the older staples of LAN play, it will be a welcome relief to leave the full-size gaming laptop at home when heading out for a quick face-to-face deathmatch.