PC gaming tablets are doomed to failure

PC gaming tablets are doomed to failure

Summary: PC tablet gaming systems are dead before they even come to life.


Over at CES 2012 in Las Vagas, PC gaming accessory maker Razer (the folks behind the $2,800 Blade gaming notebook) as unveiled a concept tablet that it claims will bring PC gaming to tablets.

See also: CES 2012: ZDNet’s news and product coverage | CES 2012: CNET’s news and product coverage

Called Project Fiona, the system comprises of a 10.1-inch tablet complete with a pair of integrated gaming controllers. The tablet itself will feature a Core i7 'Ivy Bridge' processor, multi-touch and accelerometer support, the audio will be THX-certified, there will be force-feedback and, according to CNet, it will run Windows 9 and have an Android overlay.

It looks pretty funky too:

It's expected that the whole package will cost under $1,000.

OK, so why is this doomed to failure? Let's me give you some of the most obvious reasons off the top of my head:

  • Tablet make pretty awful gaming platforms. While it's true that fingers make for a pretty accurate pointing device, on a flat screen with no tactile feedback they are truly awful.
  • Now, you might think that those side handles mitigate any drawbacks that the touch interface has when it comes to gaming. They don't. Would you buy an accessory like that to attach to your PC when you are gaming?
  • PC games are primarily designed to be driven by a keyboard and mouse, both of which are tactile, precision tools. The best that gamepads have to offer are nowhere near as accurate (which is why, for example, console first person shooters feature auto-aim).
  • $1,000 is a lot to put down on what is essentially an experimental platform.
  • The best gaming experience on a tablet is when the games are optimized for tablet usage.
  • Don't hear much about the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play/PlayStation Phone now, do we ...
  • The tablet market is highly competitive and dominated by a single massive well-known brand (iPad).

Bottom line, PC tablet gaming systems are dead before they even come to life.


Topics: Tablets, Hardware, Laptops, Mobility

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  • RE: PC gaming tablets are doomed to failure

    Project Fiona = Project Fail

    I agree, a dedicated gaimng tablet with built in controllers doesn't have much of a futre. But I do think there's a market for external (bluetooth?) gaming controllers for tablets. It really expands the range of games you can play.
  • If they made the controller ...

    ... apparatus removable, and allowed the tablet to be able to be attached to a physical keyboard in a laptop configuration, like the Asus Transformer, I think the tablet could be commercially successful.
    P. Douglas
  • This might work for MMOs

    If they can put World of Warcraft or Star Wars The Old Republic on a tablet, I could see them being viable gaming platforms. simply because they would feed the desire to play these games for hours on end from any location (school/work/etc). But instead of these xbox-ish controls mounted on the screen, they would do better with a wireless mouse and wireless button pad. heck, there's a device called "Phonejoy" that is basically a blutooth PS2 controller that would be better than what they are demoing here.
  • At least ZDNet bloggers are consistent

    "???The tablet market is highly competitive and dominated by a single massive well-known brand (iPad)."

    If it isn't an iPad me-too, it will fail.

    If it is an iPad me-too clone, it will fail.

    I don't disagree, Apple has a monopoly in the market and is wielding its monopoly power like an 8,000lb gorilla. I just find it interesting that none of you will simply come out and say:
    all tablets will fail because they aren't iPads

    It would be so much more honest.
    • RE: PC gaming tablets are doomed to failure

      @toddybottom <br><br>I too would choose an iPad if i were a brain washed surrogate that loves being told what to do and how to use the products I buy.<br><br>I prefer the customization of Android, and the way it is headed with Android 4.0.<br>I think there are about 10 million others who agree with me. I cannot wait for the Apple empire to fall, along with everything evil it and its stupid patent wars stand for.
      • RE: PC gaming tablets are doomed to failure


        Why do you need to make personal insults to make your opinion known?
      • RE: PC gaming tablets are doomed to failure

        I totally agree,Apple sucks If A tablet can't do or go to the same places that my pc does.Then I Don't need it.( Like Flash).
    • RE: PC gaming tablets are doomed to failure

      iPads are perfectly fine but are more expensive. Not everyone wants to pay top dollar for similar functionality and that is where some of the tablets have a market share. But to the point of the article, the reason I would not like to play action games on a tablet is the small screen size, preference for divorced controls, and a dislike of trying to play games on a small touch screen.
  • Windows 9?

    [i]it will run Windows 9 and have an Android overlay[/i]

    When's this tablet coming out 2017-2018?
    William Farrel
  • RE: PC gaming tablets are doomed to failure

    why don't these companies just hire you to tell them what to make and what not to make? it would save them all a lot of money. but, the only company that would be left standing would be apple, because that's all you care about.
  • RE: PC gaming tablets are doomed to failure

    "Would you buy an accessory like that to attach to your PC when you are gaming?"

    Yep. It's called an Xbox controller. And sorry to say, there are a crapton of PC (not ports, even) games out there that play exceptionally well with one. Just because you apparently only play a couple of games that are more optimized for Mouse/Keyboard doesn't make it the end all be all input device, just how like I wouldn't use a dance pad to play a fighter (though I have, and it's absurdly fun in a ridiculous manner).

    Also, I have an Xperia Play. The problem has nothing to do with the concept. It failed because of two reasons: first, the input controls all have a split second of delay before they fire and second, they didn't follow through with the Playstation App. Basically, the made a phone with the main draw to play PSOne and other exclusive games, then never released them.

    Not to mention the touchpad "joysticks" were horrifically bad.
  • RE: PC gaming tablets are doomed to failure

    "Just because you apparently only play a couple of games that are more optimized for Mouse/Keyboard" [Insert Chester Cheetah noise] I can do nothing but chuckle at this comment. New to the PC Gaming scene and only play bad console ports? PC games that play better with an xbox style controller are better off played... well, on a console ;)
    • RE: PC gaming tablets are doomed to failure


      I believe that it's subjective to each user. Some games I prefer mouse and keyboard and some I prefer my xbox controller attached to the PC. And not all console ports are bad by any stretch. The main reason I play "console games" on my PC is because I'm running them in 3D. Sure you can play the odd console game in 3D on the console itself, but it's very limited compared to the PC and the frame rates are terrible.

      The latest Batman in 3D on my PC, with an xbox controller, is truly an incredible experience. Likewise, DAO in 3D on my PC, with the mouse and keyboard, is also an incredible experience.

      To each his own for how and what they play with. No one input devices "rules them all".
  • RE: PC gaming tablets are doomed to failure

    Why the pads are doomed to failure. Ok so the gaming creators are betting most of their creation efforts on the console market. Hardcore gamers consistently complain about how the games are designed for the consoles then ported to pc. While you think that the Hardware market would help the gaming creators tailor more games directly for PC as this is what drives most of the new, latest and greatest hardware sales, that is another subject. Back on track... Console game ported to pc then adapted to tablet... hmm.
    • RE: PC gaming tablets are doomed to failure

      @alee@... it really is all about the input controls. I personally play pc because of the laser focus I get with my mouse and keypad combo. I also enjoy my large monitor which the tablets do not have. The tablets while to me are nothing more than a larger version of my cell phone do have their niche in the market but gaming probably will not be one of those niches.
  • khristian

    i think its better to have a gaming tablet with new Operating System specifically designed for games and good old apps that you could see in the iPad, plus the bluetooth joystick will be perfect
  • RE: PC gaming tablets are doomed to failure

    The only thing that is important to me about input devices is if they have a delay or not.If they react as fast or as slow as I do,Then I can get use to any type of controller.
  • Works for a business professional

    I work in sales and do a lot of traveling. Up to this point using an iPad to take notes on and do simple usage of the web or signing an adobe file works great. Also being able to carry it to a meeting in your lap or placing on a table like a paper tablet (Penultimate) is very handy.

    With all that said, yes a tablet that can handle hardcore PC gaming would be perfect. Leaving a keyboard or mouse separate for when I need it back at the hotel would be huge for me. There is no real need for a laptop since for me it would be awkward to use as a tablet.

    Remove the handle bars and allow me to do what I do on an ipad then I am sold 100%. The product still has to look professional in order to use in a business environment.
  • Pro Apple Pish

    Ive never heard such rubbish in all my life from some of you guys. The fact that finally a developer has concepted a gaming laptop is massive for the Industry and for PC software manufacturers.

    The fact we have Apple charging stupid amounts of money for games that are no more advanced (apart from in graphics) than a basic 16/32 bit gaming system baffles me.

    If they can commercialise PC gaming and in particular on-line PC gaming onto Tablet form with a stable, easy to use system and good built in controller the PC tablet could take a huge proportion of not only the Apple Gaming market but also the console market because of the complete lack of available bandwith/player limits for most online games (ps3/xbox is limited to 24 players. PC can support insane amounts)

    Most of the criticism you will hear on this web page will be from Apple Mac using flyboys who think the PC has had its day when in actual fact APPLE is killing the market and the freedom offered by PC's by being so stringent in its control of its own software and ridiculous pricing system of its APPs store. Apple will lead to a more restrictive gaming/development system and will fail much like the Wii has due to the fact its a computer entry unit which people like at first for its simplicity but move away from once they get to grips with the tech

    $2.40 for angry birds and 2 hours of fun or $20 for a decent pc game like BF3 (240hours of gamplay +) with online capabilities, amazing graphics and sound and huge potential for modding......