With a week and a half to go until launch, Microsoft is keen to generate buzz around its upcoming Surface tablet. The first TV ad for the device aired on Monday, and pre-orders began on Tuesday morning. Later yesterday, members of the Surface team took to Reddit to answer some questions from the public.
Now, the thread is a lengthy read and may or may not be worth your time. For the Cliff’s Notes version, you can head over to Lilliputing, which has a convenient, point-by-point rundown of the highlights from the question-and-answer session.
As Liliputing notes, one of the points Microsoft discussed was the Surface’s support for peripherals like printers, keyboards, cameras… and Xbox 360 USB controllers. Ricardo Lopez, Test Manager for the Windows RT Surface, posted in the Reddit thread to say, “We used the 360 usb controllers to play with Surface all the time and they work great. We have not tried Kinect yet.”
That’s a big deal, I think. Tablets are approaching the level of horsepower of modern consoles. The Tegra 3 SoC in the Surface for Windows RT certainly has plenty of graphical oomph. However, touch screens don’t really allow for the kinds of titles we see on the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3. If enough Windows RT games implement support for the Xbox 360 controller, perhaps that could change. The fact that the Surface has a “kickstand” that props it up at 22° in landscape mode definitely doesn’t hurt, either.