The Verge is reporting that Microsoft is getting ready to release an Xbox branded gaming tablet, allegedly named the “Xbox Surface.” According to their sources, the new tablet will be released sometime before the launch of the next Xbox, and will feature SmartGlass connectivity with the new system.
Unlike Microsoft’s current line of Surface tablets, the Xbox Surface will reportedly feature a custom built ARM processor and high speed RAM designed specifically for playing games. The 7-inch tablet is being built with a focus on gaming, and as such, some of the non-gaming functions available on other Windows-based tablets might be disabled on the Xbox Surface.
There’s always been rumors that Microsoft would release a competitor to Nintendo’s handhelds and Sony’s PSP at some point, so the news of an Xbox tablet certainly makes sense. It would simultaneously allow Microsoft to compete with Nintendo and Sony in the handheld market, as well as compete with Apple and Google in terms of casual gaming, and the connectivity of the tablet with Microsoft’s consoles would give Microsoft an edge over Nintendo’s Wii-U, which is projected to be quite popular thanks to its tablet-based controller.
Of course, these are all rumors at the moment, and Microsoft in particular seems to have been the target of a lot of fake rumors this year: remember all those fake Xbox 720 leaks from last summer? Still, this one sounds plausible, so I wouldn’t complete ignore the possibility.