There's still a lot of mystery surrounding Microsoft's Surface tablet. We know the specs and the general look of the device, but we don't know the launch date or its true capabilities. The Windows 8 Pro version of the Surface is especially mysterious because it's a full-fledged Windows laptop, but Microsoft hasn't shown anything beyond Metro applications for it yet. Can its Intel i5 processor run high-powered applications like gaming? One hardware manufacturer certainly doesn't think so.
In an interview with PC Games N, product manager with Alienware, Eddy Goyanes, spoke on the potential of Microsoft's Surface as a gaming machine. The company is known for making quality gaming PCs so they know how to judge the relative power of a PC. Microsoft's Surface seems pretty powerful so what does Goyanes think about it?
He can't pass judgment just yet as the hardware has not been used to play any games yet, but he says that it's not going to be able to compete with gaming PCs, especially those from Alienware:
"It's a really neat device actually. I think it's pretty cool. But we've yet to see its capabilities in the gaming space, it will be really interesting to see how Microsoft enters that arena, if at all. We'll be keeping our eye on the pulse of that device. If it does try to get into the gaming space, it's definitely not going to complete on the level of any of our products. If you look at it from a wattage perspective, it's not going to be capable of high-performance class gaming."
The man makes a valid point. The utter apathy that Microsoft has shown towards gaming in the past makes it seem like they won't be doing much in the way of pushing it for Surface. Of course, social and mobile gaming has exploded in the past few years so Microsoft is definitely going to want to get in on that. The fear is that Microsoft will only cater to that audience instead of the core gaming audience. Sure, the mobile gaming audience is huge, but they want free games. The core gaming audience is willing to spend $60 per game for the experience.
We don't exactly know whether Microsoft will actually cater to the core with the Windows 8 Pro Surface, but they would be wise not to ignore it. I think I speak for many PC gamers when I say what that we want a more portable solution to take games on the go with us. Sure, the Surface wouldn't replace our desktops or high-powered gaming laptops, but a gaming tablet specifically catered toward core gamers is a new concept that could go a long way.
I'm sure we'll find out more as we approach the launch for Surface, but we'll keep you up to date on all Surface news until then. This is Microsoft's big break to get into the personal computer hardware business so they need all the help they can get. Gamers usually make up most of the early adopters and power users so catering to them would not be a bad thing at all.