Report: Microsoft working on Xbox Surface 7-inch gaming tablet

Microsoft is planning its own 7" gaming tablet, according to a report over at The Verge. Sources familiar with Redmond plans have stated the company has already begun building said device. Specifications for an 'Xbox Surface tablet' were leaked back in June, before Microsoft's Surface family of tablets were announced.

The Verge has been informed that specifications leaked previously are in fact accurate and will be featured in the Xbox Surface gaming tablet.

Xbox Surface Specs

The Xbox Surface is believed to be built primarily for gaming tasks and processing. This will see Microsoft pack a punch with a fully capable ARM processor, RAM and board to boot. Sources indicate specifications could be altered to house an unannounced Intel SoC and the tablet is being developed without a specific hardware architecture in mind.

As one would expect with such a product from the company, the Xbox Surface will most than likely run a customised operating system to take full advantage of available power for titles to be played. We wouldn't be surprised to see some degree of Xbox and Windows integration to be present with SmartGlass, Messenger, and more.

Rum: 7

Microsoft has built a secret hardware production process for its Surface tablets that have hit the market (the RT version has anyway) and sources have revealed the same factory will manufacturer the Xbox Surface. However, future Xbox consoles will continue to be mass produced by companies such as Pegatron or Foxconn.

The Verge has also been informed that part of the Xbox Surface is being developed at Microsoft's compound in Silicon Valley. The company has been reported to have locked down several Xbox-related buildings, limiting employee access. This could well be due to the company's increase in testing of the Xbox Surface tablet.

Microsoft was asked to comment on the reports, but of course declined to provide any detail on rumours or speculation. Exciting times ahead, that's for sure. Do you believe there's room for an Xbox tablet?

via: The Verge

Rich Edmonds
Senior Editor, PC Build

Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.

  • :D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:!!!!!! This sounds promising. I don't see how it wouldn't be a hit. 
  • <p>I just played Reckless racing game on my Surface using a Bluetooth Logitec controller that was sent to me for beta testing Samsung cloud gaming on my Samsung Smart TV. And it loaded on the Surface Device manager as xbox controller.</p>
  • A hit with whom? Considering the loathing some hardcore gamers express for gaming on a touchscreen (the legitimacy and logistics of it both), who would this be a hit with? Who, outside of MS fanboys, is buying a separate device for hundreds of dollars to play games they can probably already play on a device they currently own (the 360) and will most likely want to play on their television with an actual controller?
  • Millions upon millions would buy it.... for their kids.
    The moment they want one and if it catches on it'll sell. It happened with the ipod and from there we ventured to the iphone and now ipad. 
    Try not to think like you' and think like other people.
  • Nowhere in my post did I suggest that I am one of those people who hates mobile gaming. I don't. I'm thinking like a consumer with my wallet. And if we are talking about parents, why in the world is a parent going to buy this thing for their kids at, at the very least$300 a pop, when they can get a 360 slim for as low as $150 in some places? And again, you can play the same types of games on a device you most likely already own (in whatever form), are you really dropping $300 just to play these same games on the go? And by the time this thing is probably released (if it ever is), the next Xbox would probably be announced and then we are getting into system dumping phase where the 360 will probably be much cheaper all around?
  • As a parent myself who always thinks about his wallet, I would buy it becaue my kid asked for it. I've paid 300+ for the original Xbox, 2nd gen Xbox, and we now have two Xbox slim units for both of my son's. The original is stored in a closet, I passed the 2nd gen to my nephew, and as stated, we have a slim on the 55" 1080P HD television in the living space for my youngest son and one in my oldest son's bedroom. Despite being a "wallet watcher" and saying I'm wasn't going to buy this or that due to price, we always end up buying things for our kids. Heck, we still have the original handheld nintendo black/white & color models, and whatever the model was after that one. We have so many, I can't even remember the names.
  • If microsoft can be half as gimicky as nintendo, it wont be hard at all to sell the xbox surface.  I'm guessing microsoft will copy nintendo and try selling the xbox surface by saying you can use it as a controller and other gimicky mutli purpose uses.  If microsoft knows whats good for them they wont release the xbox surface until the next gen xbox console is released
  • I think Tony is right - the hardcore gamers won't want it due to the touchscreen. Casual gamers and parents will just buy an iPad mini. I don't see who this will appeal to.
  • @TonyDedrick
    I think you are missing the point.  The Xbox Surface will replace your current Xbox for it has a video out and allows you to connect up to four controllers, so you can connect the Xbox Surface to a TV and have a bigger display.  The Xbox as a tablet will allow you to easily port your game station anywhere as well as play your Xbox games anywhere, so I can definitely see this being a big hit and why Microsoft would want to keep this very tight lipped.  I would not even announce it until all the other consule companies have commited to shipping their new consules to the public.  But we shall see what happens.
  • I understand that aspect of the device. But is there a market amongst "hardcore" gamers out there for this or are they not the target audience? This to me sounds like a way to test out a completely digital way of doing things, which is fine by me. I've gone to digital on certain forms of media (can't remember the last time I purchased a CD). But again, the vibe I get from gamers out there is that, for all the advances we have made with going completely digital, gamers still want something physical in their hands i.e a disc. Again, I am not knocking the device or the intent. It just feels like with a perfectly good device already, what is the incentive to replace your perfectly good 360 for this?
  • People buy ipod touches for this exact reason. Maybe you don't always have time to get on a console. Or maybe you would like to just sit on the couch and play a game and messge with some buddies. Or do face chat. Or both since the Surface is excelent at multi-tasking now. The world is going mobile and the first company to do it right will have the advantage.
  • Hey Tony,
    Make a quick comparison to what Sony has put out for the mobile gaming platform. All their new mobile consoles don't have a physical disc nor do they support a controller or video out. And although some hardcore gamers aren't fans of the device, some adore these types of things...although a few do use them as "toilet games". Microsoft is trying to take this whole aspect and expand on it. And as for the market....i don't think they are aiming specifically at hardcore gamers. This seems more of a parent market. They can buy it and give it to their kids without having to lose access to a television. And then there are the people that would buy it because it is a new innovation.
  • In my opinion, having a completely data-centric device that removes the need of physical media would be a welcome addition to my gadget lineup. Think about how popular Steam is on the PC. If Gamefly or Steam had a completely digital service that allowed downloading of games directly to your console, I'd embrace the service with open arms! Then I'd have all of my purchases linked to one account, allowing me to download and redownload games whenever I want. No more being unable to play a game because I lost/damaged the physical media.
  • It supports 4 wireless xbox controllers.  Read the article and specs before commenting. It also has hdmi out, which means you can take your xbox to any tv.
  • This surface device is the controller there is specs for new Xbox with surface controllers the new Xbox will allow 4 surface controllers to connect to it
  • How about this scenario. Hook up the tablet to a tv and use an xbox controller to play all the xbox games. Unhook it and use it a tablet. Go to a friends house, hook it up to a TV, and play with your friend. Microsoft already said pretty much all usb devices are compatible and wireless controllers should be compatible. You don't have to use the touchscreen. The only thing that might cause sales to be disappointing is the price. Even if it can function as both a gaming and tablet device, people will spend $200 for a console but might not want to spend $600.
  • I'm bummed about this being a 'custom' device. I was hoping it would run Windows 8, adds a lot more functionality to the little device. And you can still make exclusive apps / experience for this little device. 
    PS. The image in this artlce is amazing. Did you make it Rich?   
  • I think the device you're speaking of will be made in collaboration between MS & Barnes&Noble; that's why the invested heavily in them IMO
  • lol dude it's the dashboard from the original Xbox
  • LMAO! Guess he's never seen that OG dashboard before.
  • Microsoft is trying to rule the world.
  • And I think they'll succeed.
  • And they're also coming to eat your lunch!!
  • Sounds like a winner IMO.  I certainly was on the bandwaggon for this announcement instead of the Surface.  It would certainly put massiv preassure on the rest of the tablet market, including the iFruit Mini.
  • I wanted this to happen too, but I was hoping MS would let Dell Alienware division make it. Either way, I'm down with it!
  • Omg!!! This is what I wanted from the original surface..booyeah..WIRELESS CONTROLLERS LIKE A BOSS!!!
  • I thought the surface syncs controllers already via BT.
  • It does.
  • Xbox controllers don't have BT
  • I can't even begin to imagine a price!!!!
  • Who cares
  • Poor folks like me!
  • amen!
  • I'm in the same boat!
  • If this computer has an Intel SoC, can run apps from the Windows App Store, and can run Microsoft Office; this will be the Surface tablet I will buy!!!  I love 7" tablets!!  I currently have the Nexus 7, previous I had the orginial 7" Galaxy Tab. 
    The only reason I need an x86 processor is that I need and want to take my Wild Divine software with me (The Passage, Wisdom Quest, Relaxing Rhythms, Secrets of Meditation, and Mindfulness Academy).
  • I better not mention this to my two sons, ( 10 & 12yrs) they'll ask me everyday till its out. Is it out yet? Is it out yet? Can't you just be happy with your Halo 4??
  • Agreed, my 13yr old would drive me crazy
  • If this turns out to be true then I will be getting two surfaces: Pro and Xbox :D
  • I'm thinking of doing the same thing. :)
  • I would have all three. I would rub them together to make one Super Surface!
  • You and me both Paul.
  • Youve got to question why? The xbox 360 has been the best selling console globally for the last few years. Theres a massive market for it still as youve all probably seen by the recent queues everywhere for Halo4. No matter how high the specs on a tablet like that would you really want to play AAA games on the go? Data plans would be huge to be able to cover the multiplayer aspect leaving it as a platform to only play single player games which i cant see many AAA developers spending money on.
    When i play on my xbox i like the fact i can sit there with my turtle beaches on in my giant beanbag in front of my giant telly and completely immerse myself for hours. Im not going to lay out a couple of hundred on a tablet that would let me play an inferior version of my favourite games for the 30 minute journey on the train into work. MS have just bought us smartglass so the games, films and music we pump through our xbox's get added interaction with the new tablets and phones, whats the point in adding another tablet to the mix that will do the same? If that spec sheet is anything to go by its not going to be a cheap product either not when you consider you can buy an xbox for £100. Whats the point?
  • In terms of online gaming, you may find a lot of young people game with their university/college's on-campus WiFi. Besides that, I wouldn't mind high quality titles akin to Infinity Blade in terms of graphics on my device, even if it means playing offline (though the option for online multi-player would be nice).
    In addition to gaming, if it can interact with my PC, e.g. present me my PowerPoint notes and slide show controls, but communicate with the computer, I'd be sold on it. Besides that, if it can do general consumption very well (e.g. e-books, e-magazines, music, videos, full web browsing, etc), I'd much prefer an MS unit than Nexus 7 or iPad Mini, even at $350.
  • If its got extra functionality like e-readers and a diet version of office then your basically looking at a 7" surface which seems even more pointless with the competition thats already out there especially with the new not really 7" ipad mini. That spec sheet points to high end gaming and the supposed stripped down kernel will probably limit it to gaming only. I have no doubt it would be a quality device and have no doubt you would get some quality games on it. But its use would be aimed at mobile gaming - if your indoors then you may as well use your xbox - I just cant see long stints of gaming being very comfortable on a 7" screen
  • What if... This is THE Xbox. Plug in and play on the big screen, just like now. Unplug, pick up and play on the go. ALL titles available, even AAA, even online multiplayer
  • Nevermind. I just saw the "tablet computing device" and "stationary computing device" headers. Two seperate devices. The tablet seems to be just a controller My bad...
  • Troll
  • My guess the price would be minimum $300, maximum $400, and reasonable at $349.99. I can see the market being very receptive to an Xbox Surface, even at a high price point. First, it'll probably be seen as a key to the fuly experiencing the next-gen Xbox. I think people would view Xbox Surface in a similar vein as Kinect, an optional but impressive component of the multimedia experience.
  • I already have an Xbox and a Surface, so I personally wouldn't find a use for this. That being said, I know some people that would love this.
  • Someone please just give me damn 7in Surface with Windows 8!
  • I want one real bad too!!
  • Me too!
  • +1000000000000000000000000000000000000
  • I'd take a 7" surface RT or a 7" Nokia RT, for $200 please.
  • A 7" Windows 8 RT Surface with no desktop mode for $198. I'd be all over that in a heartbeat.
  • Customized os? Please no. There are already three versions (phone, rt, pro). Actually four, if you count the xbox. We don't need another one that is incompatible with the others and needs you to buy yet another version of your apps.
  • Customized OS doesn't rule out being able to run Win RT apps from the Store.
  • That's the first thing that came to my mind. Like Fiann says above me, I hope it's compatible with RT apps so it's not all about gaming.
  • Will this thing run Xbox consle games, or will it have its own version/sets of games?
  • Bring it!
  • Personally I can't understand why anyone would want one of these, but then I feel the same way about the Nintendo 3DS, PSVita, etc. and they fly off the shelves, so what do I know?
  • Each has their niche and depending on the type of gaming you prefer they may or may not be interchangeable. I use my phone for small puzzle and word games but prefer my 3ds for lengthy games like rpgs because there is no true replacement for buttons and a game pad on a phone. It'll be neat to see where this tablet falls.
  • I think with this, Microsoft can finally say it has it's on mobile consol and at the same time bring PC gaming to the mobile world to help get us gamers away from our computer desk and beds.
  • I can only speak for the 3DS. But when games such Pokemon, Professor Layton, Mario, Zelda, Pushmo, Mario Kart and a bunch of others become available on my smartphone, then I would reconsider having one. Otherwise, my 3DS is never far from my side at any given moment
  • Even if Nintendo allowed those to go to smartphones, I'd still prefer the console. For me it's part nostaligia and part preference for tactile buttons over touch. To me the 3ds is the perfect blend of both.
  • +1
  • I'd probably would too. I would love to get a 3DS XL. That thing is a beauty and feels really good in my hand
  • That's the version I have and, yes, it is awesome. The 3D is ten times better on the larger screen and if you were an ambassador you can transfer your 20 free games as well.
  • If it runs Win RT/8 and has a high res screen then I'll definitelly be considering this. 
  • Only 7in....Only if it looks like the WiiU controller - with built-in controls.
  • Seriously if it gets sold as a gaming tablet more than anything, for goodness sake put some buttons there.
  • But you can use a wired or wireless controller...
    Edit: nm. I just saw the "tablet computing device" and "stationary computing device" headers. My bad...
  • Wow its the super old Xbox interface
  • Xbox Sueface Phone. Alienware phone.
  • The ultimate tablet. I love the Xbox ecosystem.
  • Wow!!! Sounds pretty cool!
  • What if it's a full 360 crammed into a tablet? =) (yeah I know it can't be ARM, but still, A MAN CAN DREAM!)
  • I have a question is it just a tablet that is suppose to be a mobile Xbox or is it going to also be a PC mobile gaming device or do the specs say that isn't possible yet? I think it would blow gamers minds to play halo or assassins creed on it then WoW if I can do PC gaming then it's a buy
  • CAN'T WAIT!!! I might just bypass buying a surface pro to get this. Who's with me!?!
  • Give me the medical apps I need, because this thing fits in a lab coat pocket well. Please Epocrates, Micromedex, Lexicomp, make me some apps for this!
  • I would so buy this !
  • MS > ALL!
  • If you look at the success of Android in the 7" tablet space, it's a wonder that Microsoft didn't do this version first and then launch the Pro version as the 10" option. It seems far more obvious to me.
  • Quite interesting.
  • The wallpaper that's on the mockup of the Xbox Surface is the UI from the original xbox. Anybody remember that? I loved it especially with the background digital murmur/noise. 
    Just the thought of this device makes my hands shake! 
  • I love this aggressive new Microsoft.  They are attacking on all fronts.  FTW!!!
  • Me too!  They learned people are willing to pay a little more for premium devices.  They've learned that people are sick of stale iOS programs and buggy, inconsistent droid apps/interfaces.  They're headed in the right direction!
  • The most amazing thing about this is something that most people will never notice unfortunately:  It demonstrated the versatility of the MS operating systems.  Apple would have trouble building this; iOS is not designed to work on many different types of devices; it is not designed to work with wireless controllers.  It can be done, oh yes, but would require a lot of work and substantial tweaks to the OS.  iOS works great because it was built with the exact hardware specs in mind. 
    Android is also very versatile; however, not nearly as stable, elegant and beautiful as Windows 8 OS's.
  • +1
  • While it's interesting, it also sounds like a Wii U imitation, only better... maybe.  If it works with the XBox, can be used as a controller for everything in the house, and can game independently, that would be cooooool.  Unless things change, tho, there's not much hope of me owning any of these things.  Oh well.
  • Uh, with the kind of specs that sheet is sporting (150GB SCSI drive, dedicated video card, powerful CPU), I think this is an Xbox in a can, basically.
  • This sounds like a terrible idea if it is incompatible with Surface. It could splinter the ecosystem and lose developer focus on both. I hope they know what they are doing.
  • I know what you mean, but I don't see Microsoft merging the Xbox into a typical tablet/PC environment. I wish they could figure out a way to bring Xbox games to PC via some sort of crazy emulation, but I doubt that too. This would be a perfect middle-ground for those that want an actual, powerful, mobile gaming system that's compatible with all their existing Xbox games (assuming it is, of course). If it can't play 360 games, I would be sorely disappointed.
  • If it's a xbox 360, I might buy one depending on the price point. The 360 has limited life left though. As the next Gen models will be coming out next year.
    The 720 is rumored to have news about it next year at CES, so it might have limited life unless it comes with 720 support.
    Personally, I would prefer a Surfface pro with a really good video card in it so I can play PC games with a Xbox 360 controller for a resonable price.
  • Doesn't sound like a feasible product though. With the hardware specs and the tablet form factor, there isn't enough cooling even if they use thermoelectric cooling.
  • Am I the only person who thinks Xbox Surface is a terrible name?
  • xbox users going to love this product
  • OH GOD YES. I will be buying the eff out of this device. I no longer need to figure out a way to remotely play Xbox games... this will be amazing if it's true.
  • Why do you need a branded Xbox tablet. Why not just make it a smaller Surface at a lower price. The only games you would play will be playing are tablet style games. Unless they allow wireless controller. I'd prefer the Windows Nook release personally.
  • Don't think of it like an iPad for casual or kid gaming/entertainment...
    Think portable COD or Halo... bring a controller, and your Surface... meet 4 or 6 or 12 of your friends at Starbucks... LAN party. 
    NO console needed.
    And since you'd use HALO off the cloud, no more DVDs or discs to cart around.
    This is a hardcore mobile solution for hardcore gamers.        
  • Think 3x the price of an Xbox.
  • The 7inch tablet In this article is just the controller.
  • Like the new wii
  • Nope. What controller has 5 gigs of ram and HDMI out?
    Edit: Hmm, yeah. I just saw the "tablet computing device" and "stationary computing device" headers. You're right, my bad... Lame.
  • This sounds very cool but until I know where they are trying to fit this thing into the gaming market with the new Xbox that is sure to come soon I will withhold judgment. Ps. Love the mockup with the original Xbox UI
  • This is a very smart move by Microsoft. Im for it. It'll be most likely to play current Xbox titles and the 720 will be next gen
  • I believe that's what MS would do, buy a 720 for new games and a portable solution for 360 games, they wouldn't even need to have backward compatibility in the 720
  • It'd be too expensive. A gaming console is only great because it handles high quality games, without blowing your budget. It's a great idea, but I don't see it being cheaper than a Surface RT, which is already expensive for what it does. I guess some people would buy it, the same way some people purchase expensive smartphones that don't do anything.
  • I Think the only way for something like this to be really successful is with a complete sync to xbox360 like all you're downloaded games, pictures, music and apps. Would love to take my COD on the go!! Turn on my hot spot and start l shooting off heads in TDM!! Would definitely dump my ps3 for features like this! But I doubt the specs on the 7incher would be at par with such a request wishful thinking :)
  • If this is true, SOLD!
  • That dashboard! Ahhh nostalgia...
  • Look at second list it tells you its a controller which connects to main device you can connect 4 tablets to main device.
  • 4 wireless or wired controllers connect to IT. Thus the 4 USB 3.0 ports
  • 4 USB 3 ports not on the tablet
  • Hmm, yeah. I just saw the "tablet computing device" and "stationary computing device" headers. My bad... just a touch controller, like the Wii...
  • Sounds lame. Since it is claimed that MS doesn't make money off the Xbox hardware, and they make money off of games and services, why not make surface/win8 fully Xbox compatible via software?? Why another device?? Surface pro can be your console.
  • This new device is simply like the Wii U this 7" surface is just a controller.
  • Oh God No!!  Why not just make this a Windows RT tablet?!
    Why hang the Windows RT community and developers out to dry?!  Just make it a purpose built RT tablet with about 20 awesome games at launch that are 3 month exclusives to this tablet then let it be unleashed on the other tablets.
    The Windows ecosystem can't tolerate ANOTHER OS.
  • If you read the article this one is linked too (or view the picture correctly) You can see the first small subsection says "Tablet Computing Device." The other specs are for a stationary unit. IMO, we are looking at a 7" device much like that of the WiiU but for the New Xbox. The specs listed for the stationary device are in line with next gen Xbox hardware. Follow the deep link for the article back in June, and the second spec sheet clealry says "Tablet device (controller)" and the stationary unit says "support for up to 4 wireless tablet devices."
    As hopeful as I was, there is nothing to see here guys, just move along. Its just a fancy controller for the new Xbox.
  • Yup. This is not the device I thought it was. :/
  • Courier, is that you?
  • I would love this device, especially if it replaces my current Xbox =) I need a new computer anyway, so I will be watching closely to see what happens with this
  • Ever played on 11.5" screen? No fun it basically sucks.
  • hmm, I thought my Windows Phone was supposed to do this.
  • I'd be so happy if this is real!!!