As far back as a I can remember, there has basically been two major types of gamers: PC gamer or console gamer– although there is certainly some overlap here. Within these groups are tons of subcategories like casual console gamer, casual PC gamers, etc, but the tablet has led to a bridging in this gap.
The tablet isn’t quite a handheld console and its games aren’t quite as smooth as full PC games. We continue to see tablet games on the rise, though admittedly many of these games have been of a more casual nature.
A “true” PC gamer will probably never love the idea of using a tablet with built-in controls, but the idea certainly has merit for those gamers that like both console and PC gaming and wouldn’t mind a perfect mobile compromise. This led me to thinking, could Windows 8 be the ultimate tablet gaming platform? As you can see in the video directly below, one player has already taken to Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with a Surface Pro tablet, even though they aren’t using touch, and instead are using the type cover.
With Windows 8 you have the power to play the more typical tablet games, but it also opens up a doorway to hardcore PC gaming in a big way. If marketed right, gaming laptops could start to vanish as gaming convertibles take their place.
Games like Crysis are never going to run great with touch, but a well designed controller attachment for tablets could help bridge the gap here.
Why the Gaming Market Matters
While I could certainly be wrong, it seems to me that these days the average consumer is unwilling to pay more than $300-$700 for a desktop or laptop computer. The folks that are willing to pay such premiums are usually either the business folks or the gaming crowd, which is why I believe that both of these markets are important targets for Microsoft.
On the low-end, Android will continue to outprice Microsoft, and more consumers can get by with a smartphone or Android tablet over a desktop or laptop. If Microsoft can’t compete on the low-end, that leaves business and gaming, two of the things I personally feel Windows does best.
So What’s Holding Back Windows 8 Gaming Tablets?
Oh, they exist, at least in a limited capacity. Razr Edge Pro (in the picture above) is probably one of the only ones out there and price is a factor at $1,299.99. Sure hardcore gamers will possibly pay that, but perhaps not from RAZR.
I think a major reputable gaming brand needs to step in and push a tablet. My hope is that Microsoft answers the call. We’ve heard rumors of an Xbox Surface tablet 7-incher in the past, and combined with a Xbox Surface 10-incher– that would be awesome. Still, spending tons of money developing an Xbox-branded tablet that costs $1200 might prove to be a poor return investment. PC gamers pay a lot more for hardware, but is there enough to merit designing a higher-end Xbox Surface tablet? Maybe not, but they don’t have to.
Just as easily, Microsoft could market the Microsoft Surface Pro towards gamers. The “Xbox Surface Pro Bundle” could simply be a regular Surface Pro with an extra gaming controller attachment similar to the Razr Edge Pro. Perhaps it could even through in the Type Cover. If Microsoft was to offer a discount for signing a two-year Xbox service agreement for the tablet, it could even be cheaper than buying a Surface Pro without a cover.
What do you think, could an Xbox Surface Pro tablet bundle be a good move on Microsoft’s part or not? Share your thoughts below.