Sunday, 10 January 2010

Slate PCs - a Casual Gamers Dream Come True?

The BBC ran a small report on Slate PC's the other day, showing MS boss Steve Balmer showing off models from HP (ugh) and other hardware companies.

My immediate reaction was "Oh it's a giant iPhone..." and indeed they will cost the same as a (high end) mobile phone and be shipped with windows 7. They look like netbooks without the keyboard basically and I was also reminded of the "Windows 7 was my idea!" ads that are on at the moment, specifically the one about touch screen tech...or the "Touch Screen Experience" as Mr Balmer calls it in the BBC Video

When I'd thought about it for a few minutes I suddenly thought "It's a giant iPhone..." which yes is exactly the sames response but I thought of the thousands and thousands of touch screen games that are available on that and how it might increase the awareness of the independent games market for the PC platform! The iPhone/iPodTouch has done much for indie devs around the world, but you still have to buy a mac and the development license (each year!) to make games for it.

PC's in contrast can be 100% free to develop for. How MS's "Touch screen experience" will differ from Apple's touch screen "pinching" for zooming I don't think there's been any news on it. This may be the major challenge for developers to start with as obviously there's just one mouse pointer right now!

I also worry that it's an uncontrolled environment, unlike the iTunes store and not having a keyboard causes problems if trying to resolve any issues that require a lot of cmd window typing. I wonder if retro games will work, or text adventure games!

So this is hardly new in terms of technology but it is a first for PC users.  I don't think it's an iPhone killer (nothing else has been so far!) But it's certainly tempting to get one when they're released...


  1. I think it will attract the users and it will surely dominate the market of game lovers. I agree that it's not new in terms of technology nut it's new in terms of innovation and thus it's going to dominate the market for sure.

  2. I'm not sure it will dominate as such, nothing has beaten mouse+keyboard for me in FPS games. But in terms of the casual and independent markets I think it could be huge.