Microsoft seemingly isn’t keen on resting on its laurels any time soon. Despite just launching the Surface with Windows RT tablet to consumers across the globe, and with the Surface with Windows 8 just around the corner, the company has plans to build a 7-inch Surface gaming tablet that may well be used in conjunction with the next-generation Xbox, a la Wii U.

According to technology site The Verge, quoting “multiple sources familiar with plans within Redmond”, initial hardware planning of the tablet has begun. If reports turn out to be true, pinning down the long-awaited reveal of the Xbox 720 as the stage in which the company chooses to out the 7-inch Surface surely wouldn’t be far off the mark.

Specifications of the alleged tablet were rumoured earlier this year following the leak of a Microsoft document, with speculation rife that the tablet would run a custom version of Windows (based on Windows 8’s live tiles), it would likely boast an ARM-based Texas Instruments processor, feature a screen resolution of 1280 x 720, and include a high-bandwidth form of RAM to keep the focus firmly on gaming.

The leaked document also detailed a ‘stationery computing device’ that would likely stream data to the tablet (otherwise the USP of Nintendo’s Wii U), likely the next-generation Xbox. With two IBM POWER7 SCMs each with six active cores at 3.1Ghz, a rumoured 5GB of DDR3 RAM, and a custom 28nm GPU from AMD featuring 1.2GB of memory and full Direct3D 11 support, it’s quite the beast if authentic.

One thing is for sure, it’s a fascinating time to be an Xbox fan, and the 7-inch gaming tablet is only the latest in a long-line of rumours that seem to suggest Microsoft has something truly special in store for the next-generation. It also makes perfect sense, with features like Xbox SmartGlass seemingly built from the ground-up for such a device, even it appears it was announced somewhat prematurely. Big things a’ coming.

Richard Birkett 

Source: The Verge

I am the Founder and Editor-in-chief of New Rising Media. You can follow me on Twitter @MrJasonEngland.