Surface Pro Can Run Diablo III, Portal 2, Other AAA Games - Why Isn't Microsoft Evangelizing This?
Since Microsoft‘s Surface Pro launched, I’ve engaged in fascinating discussions with my Twitter followers about its capabilities. In doing so, I’ve identified what could be an important area of opportunity for Microsoft’s marketing department: They need to play up the fact that this tablet/ultrabook hybrid is quite adept at running a wide range of AAA video games.
The Surface Pro handles Diablo III at 1920 x 1080 resolution with most specs except shadows maxed out. Popular MOBA League of Legends kicked out a smooth 30FPS (frames per second) at the same resolution with quality settings defaulted to High. How about the endlessly-playable, touch-enhanced version of Civilization V? Beautiful, stable, and a joy to experience on the Pro’s excellent display. Ditto for Portal 2, XCOM: Enemy Unknown, and StarCraft II.
Surprised? So was the majority of my Twitter audience. As I spent the day testing various high-profile — and most importantly, evergreen — game releases, a fascinating trend emerged. People previously on the fence about purchasing a Surface Pro reversed course and started hunting down the hardware. Their prior perceptions held that the Surface Pro was strictly a business machine.
Nevermind that Microsoft is targeting anything but the business professional with their new breakdancing-laden commercial. The culture Microsoft has fostered for decades assumes that the Surface Pro is for work.
It’s time for Redmond to change the messaging.
Tech-savvy consumers want to carry around a single multipurpose device. One that fits the bill at work, is easy to travel with, and powerful enough to aid in productivity. Shouldn’t that same device be useful during leisure time? Several of my Twitter followers want to play World of Warcraft during their downtime, and had no idea that the Surface Pro’s Intel Core i5, 4GB of RAM, and integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics could facilitate that
These aren’t “hardcore” gamers, but they represent an important — and arguably sizable — potential demographic for Microsoft. As the company knows from its wildly successful Xbox platform, people play games beyond Angry Birds and Cut The Rope. Sure, using my isolated Twitter feed is anecdotal evidence at best, but I’m confident that Microsoft is failing to educate consumers about the Surface Pro’s power and flexibility.
Until the 128GB iPad 4 can run games like Diablo III and Portal 2, let's stop the comparisons
I shouldn’t be evangelizing the Surface Pro’s gaming chops, Microsoft should. In fact, one of my followers suggested starting a site that logs which games run well on the device. Even a token gesture like this would serve to educate — and surprise — potential Surface Pro buyers. Microsoft could partner with Blizzard and highlight Diablo III or World of Warcraft humming away on the machine for a future advertisement.
I can’t help wonder what would happen if the official Microsoft Twitter accounts embarked on a simple campaign explaining that the Surface Pro can handle these and many more titles. I’d wager that thousands of replies would be laced with shock.
What about a Surface Pro exclusive Halo, Fable, or Forza title?
If Microsoft wants to maximize sales and mindshare of the Surface Pro, they need to combat the endless comparisons to the iPad 4. They can be effective in that battle if they do things like tout the device’s gaming capabilities, and bundle the Surface Pro with the excellent Type Cover.
What about you? Did you realize the Surface Pro could handle popular games like LoL, WoW, and Diablo III? Does knowing this change your stance?
Intel Haswell GT3 Graphics To Ship With Low Power Ultrabooks
Hardware Posted 2 months ago by Hassan Mujtaba
Intel Haswell GT3 to Power 3rd Generation Ultrabooks
Now as we reported a day ago, Intel plans to launch Ivy Bridge-Y series low TDP chips in Q1 2013. Haswell series chips would arrive in Q2 2013 with the most basic Dual Core models featuring GT1 and GT2 level graphic chipsets. Chinese publication of VR-Zone now confirms that there would also be Haswell-U based chips featuring the GT3 level graphic chipsets which would be fused on certain CPUs with TDP ranging between 15-25 Watts (14″ and 15″ models). The following is an Haswell-U Core i7 series ES with a rated TDP of 15W:
If you didn’t know already, Haswell GT3 graphics chipset is said to be 3 times faster than Ivy Bridge HD 4000 series and would most probably be know as the Intel HD 5000 series graphics chip. The specific codename of the chip is ‘Intel Haswell HD Graphics – GT3ULT’ from a leaked specification shot by VR-Zone. Furthermore, the Haswell GT3 chips would come with 40 Execution units compared to 16 EUs on IvyBridge. This however doesn’t rules out the possibility of Haswell GT3 graphics on desktop variants but we have to wait to see those. Haswell is expected in April-June 2013.