Tablet gaming is all about flinging birds at pigs, cutting ropes, or perhaps at its least casual extent, slashing a sword around with your finger.
However, Razer is aiming to bring true core PC games to a tablet near you this year, showing off the prototype of a new tablet design at CES.
Project Fiona (let’s ignore the name for now) is being produced in conjunction with Intel. The PC Gaming Tablet will boast a Core i7 processor to deal with those higher end games, although what GPU will be on board isn’t clear yet (presumably it won’t rely on integrated graphics, anyway).
Razer claims that the device will be more akin to a fully functioning PC in everything but form factor, and will run PC games natively without them having to be optimised or ported over in any way.
However, the company acknowledges that a touchscreen interface isn’t the ideal method of control for PC games.
Which is why Razer has developed a hybrid interface for Fiona, with dual game controllers sporting analogue sticks coming with the device, and an accelerometer on board as well.
So in-game movement in say an RPG will be handled by the controller, but aiming a bow could use the accelerometer, and your inventory screen could be manipulated via the touchscreen.
Min-Liang Tan, CEO at Razer, commented: “While multi-touch screens have become the de facto user interface for tablets, they are not the right interface for serious PC gaming.”
“The user interface we have designed for Project Fiona allows all existing PC games to be played right out of the box and also provides game developers new opportunities as they develop next-gen games on a highly-intuitive platform.”
“Both developers and gamers are going to love the new user interface that combines the best of a gamepad, multi-touch screen and accelerometers for an all-new gaming experience on-the-go.”
The controllers will be equipped with force feedback, too. It all sounds pretty slick, although the worry is exactly how Razer will fit the hardware into a tablet form factor without making it overly heavy.
Also, battery life is another concern, given that chunkier laptops can run out of juice in an hour or two when playing the latest and greatest games.
Razer claims that the tablet will be on the market in the fourth quarter of 2012, retailing at less than $1,000. We’re certainly interested to see how this one turns out.