Last week, Microsoft announced it was getting into the PC hardware business with the reveal of the Microsoft Surface tablet. The 10.6 inch touch screen device, with versions for both Windows 8 and Windows RT, should begin shipping with the Windows RT product later this year. It's a bold move from Microsoft and it could affect how PC game-based developer create and release new titles.
Epic Games' VP Mark Rein quickly posted up his thoughts on Surface. He posted up word on his Twitter page this week, "Microsoft NAILS IT! Way to go Microsoft! Surface looks AWESOME! Can't wait to get some Unreal Engine games on those babies!."
Eurogamer talked to a few game developers about the reveal of the Surface. James Duncan, creative director at RedBreast Studio, said:
There are some clever, considered touches there. It's clearly been designed to kick start Windows 8 as a viable tablet contender. As a developer I'd like to know more about the app ecosystem which will really be the driving factor behind its success. It's this, coupled with the price that will decide whether Apple finally have a serious mass market tablet contender.
Ben Murch, of small game developer Rodeo Games, has some concerns about Surface. He states:
Apple have over 300 million devices all embracing the App Store environment that a small studio like us can compete in. Surface will support the likes of StarCraft, Crysis, Diablo and other huge AAA games. Trying to compete for gamers' time against those would be madness. We'll see how it gets on and if it grows a community that would fit our games.
Surface will almost certainly be able to link up to the Xbox 360 console via the planned Xbox Smart Glass app, or even with the upcoming next generation version of Microsoft's console hardware when it is released.