According to a new report, Microsoft are developing a gaming-optimised Surface tablet with a 7-inch screen and Xbox branding.
Multiple redmond sources have ostensibly told The Verge that the Xbox Surface tablet has reached the hardware planning stages. They hypothesise that it will include a "custom ARM processor and high-bandwidth RAM" optimised for gaming, running on a custom Windows Kernel that may include a few basic tablet features such as messaging and other simple apps. Several Xbox-related buildings in Microsoft's Silicon Valley complex have been locked down to total secrecy, lending credence to these statements and suggesting that heavy testing may now be in progress.
Microsoft has yet to respond with more than a boilerplate 'no comment.'
If true, it will be interesting to see how Microsoft decides to position the Xbox Surface in the marketplace - whether as a fully-fledged tablet or a competitor to the 3DS and Vita.
The Surface RT tablet released alongside Windows 8 last month, attracting a lukewarm critical reception. The much more powerful Surface Pro will launch next January.