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Will the Microsoft Surface RT be able to play games like Skyrim?

Will the Microsoft Surface RT be able to play games like Skyrim?

Most Useful Answer jaybear88  Oct. 12, 2012 at 19:31

**don't take the following as gospel, but I'm fairly sure**

Afraid not.
WindowsRT is nothing but a pathetic blown up mobileOS so any games that are written using Win32 API's won't work. Don't think of it as "Windows 8", think of it as "Windows Phone 8.000001"

Honestly, just boycott this whole RT mess, or get an atom based tablet that can run full fat windows (if that is actually on the cards)

**edit** Yep, looks like I was right unfortunately. http://www.pcworld.com/article/260101/microsoft_surface_rt_vs_surface_pro_which_tablet_will_you_want_.html

Surface Pro is what you want, but it'll cost an absolute fortune.

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28 comments

JanSt / MOD  Oct. 12, 2012 at 15:59

"like" ... probably, although I seem to remember that MS is focussed on "content creation vs consumption"....

jaybear88  Oct. 12, 2012 at 19:31

**don't take the following as gospel, but I'm fairly sure**

Afraid not.
WindowsRT is nothing but a pathetic blown up mobileOS so any games that are written using Win32 API's won't work. Don't think of it as "Windows 8", think of it as "Windows Phone 8.000001"

Honestly, just boycott this whole RT mess, or get an atom based tablet that can run full fat windows (if that is actually on the cards)

**edit** Yep, looks like I was right unfortunately. http://www.pcworld.com/article/260101/microsoft_surface_rt_vs_surface_pro_which_tablet_will_you_want_.html

Surface Pro is what you want, but it'll cost an absolute fortune.

blizzard7  Oct. 12, 2012 at 21:30

Kinda like asking can the iPad play Skyrim. They're the same sort of league. Both can't play proper PC games.

blizzard7  Oct. 12, 2012 at 23:10

**don't take the following as gospel, but I'm fairly sure**

Afraid not.
WindowsRT is nothing but a pathetic blown up mobileOS so any games that are written using Win32 API's won't work. Don't think of it as "Windows 8", think of it as "Windows Phone 8.000001"

Honestly, just boycott this whole RT mess, or get an atom based tablet that can run full fat windows (if that is actually on the cards)

**edit** Yep, looks like I was right unfortunately. http://www.pcworld.com/article/260101/microsoft_surface_rt_vs_surface_pro_which_tablet_will_you_want_.html

Surface Pro is what you want, but it'll cost an absolute fortune.


An Atom tablet certainly won't be able to play Skyrim either though. Heck unless you turn most of the nice effects off, all ultrabook-class Core chips can't with their crappy integrated graphics. AMD does better in the gaming department, but most manufacturers have AMD devices as an afterthought.

Let's be honest here, the Surface RT will be about £400. It can also run Unreal Engine 3, so there will at least be some good games in time.

You're looking at spending about £1000 to get a gaming laptop that doesn't suck by compromising on something whether that's build quality, battery life, weight etc.

An Atom machine is a good middle-ground, but I'd only recommend it if you have legacy apps or old games you need to run because it will be pricier.

jaybear88  Oct. 13, 2012 at 00:07

Duh, sorry "Atom", what was I thinking?! I did read somewhere once that it may be i5's in the Surface Pro slabs? Granted, it'll be integrated graphics, but surely it won't be as bad as standard £400 laptops?

Actually OP, have you considered OnLive? If you really want portable gaming, and don't mind making a few sacrafices here and there, cloud gaming might be an idea for you.

matt101101 / MOD  Oct. 13, 2012 at 00:42

it'll be integrated graphics, but surely it won't be as bad as standard £400 laptops?
It'll be exactly the same as every other i5's integrated graphics (aka: useless for proper gaming).

matt101101 / MOD  Oct. 13, 2012 at 00:44

Actually OP, have you considered OnLive? If you really want portable gaming, and don't mind making a few sacrafices here and there, cloud gaming might be an idea for you.
Forget about it over anything less than a 20mb connection with no throttling, though.

jaybear88  Oct. 13, 2012 at 09:53

Actually OP, have you considered OnLive? If you really want portable gaming, and don't mind making a few sacrafices here and there, cloud gaming might be an idea for you.
Forget about it over anything less than a 20mb connection with no throttling, though.


Bad experience with it? I've tried Dirt2 on an 8mb connection and the image (on a small screen) was absolutely fine, the biggest issue in cloud gaming is ping though, as soon as it spikes, it's time to give up. FPS aren't really an option but many other games should be pretty faesible, in my experience at least.

Unless of course, are you a PC gamer Matt? I've noticed that PC gamers have no desire to compromise :P


Using the onborad i5 on high leaves a fairly poor but playable framerate, mid settings would probably be ok http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5BAp_hmM6o

blizzard7  Oct. 13, 2012 at 11:52

Actually OP, have you considered OnLive? If you really want portable gaming, and don't mind making a few sacrafices here and there, cloud gaming might be an idea for you.
Forget about it over anything less than a 20mb connection with no throttling, though.


Bad experience with it? I've tried Dirt2 on an 8mb connection and the image (on a small screen) was absolutely fine, the biggest issue in cloud gaming is ping though, as soon as it spikes, it's time to give up. FPS aren't really an option but many other games should be pretty faesible, in my experience at least.

Unless of course, are you a PC gamer Matt? I've noticed that PC gamers have no desire to compromise :P


Using the onborad i5 on high leaves a fairly poor but playable framerate, mid settings would probably be ok http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5BAp_hmM6o


I've played Dirt 3 on OnLive. There is a noticeable delay between your control and something happening, so you basically have to adjust for the crappiness and do everything in advance. That video is pretty laughable to. That's probably running at about 15 FPS.

I must admit I bloody love strategy games, so while I do have a console which I adore, good strategy games are few and far between because most of them are ports. Unfortunately, I can spend £1,200 on an ultrabook and it'll still be rubbish at playing games. I'll be looking at running Civ V and Shogun at about 15 FPS, which is quite frankly not playable. I can buy a gaming laptop, but it'll be heavy, with a poor battery life.

For me, coming from a Mac and therefore having no legacy apps to run, it makes sense to save as much money as possible and buy an RT tablet, then get a small desktop, maybe something with an AMD Trinity.

jaybear88  Oct. 13, 2012 at 12:53

If you've ever played CoD Black Ops on the 360, the lag isn't all that much worse :p Not many games have the ability to make me rage quit but that one cost me a controller. But anyway, like I said, you have to make sacrafices; input lag (depending on the connection, this seems to vary massively), detail quality and framerate (15fps on high, but what about on mid as suggested? Or possibly even low).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that tablet gaming is a good idea, but it WILL work, just not very well.

Blizzard, would it not make as much sense for you to buy a £400 laptop? I know that you currently have no legacy apps, but why not get some? Age of Empires, Dawn of War and Stronghold all spring to mind.

blizzard7  Oct. 13, 2012 at 13:03

If you've ever played CoD Black Ops on the 360, the lag isn't all that much worse :p Not many games have the ability to make me rage quit but that one cost me a controller. But anyway, like I said, you have to make sacrafices; input lag (depending on the connection, this seems to vary massively), detail quality and framerate (15fps on high, but what about on mid as suggested? Or possibly even low).

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that tablet gaming is a good idea, but it WILL work, just not very well.

Blizzard, would it not make as much sense for you to buy a £400 laptop? I know that you currently have no legacy apps, but why not get some? Age of Empires, Dawn of War and Stronghold all spring to mind.


Any recommendations? I've looked around for plenty of hours (and I would love to play some classics like Rise of Nations and Age of Empires), but in the end I always end up thinking it's not worth spending extra for the sake of a handful of games. You end up sacrificing weight and battery life as I mentioned before. The Surface RT is under 700g for example and (from what I gather) has build quality that's far superior to a £400 laptop.

Also for me, I'd take smooth framerate over quality any day of the week. Problem is most laptops have 1366x768 displays. That's fine on an 11" tablet, but any larger and the poor pixel density is noticeable.

I'm still not 100% sure what I want, but I know that I do want something before the end of the year.

jaybear88  Oct. 14, 2012 at 12:00

I have to agree on the pixel densities, but we seem to be in minority. Personally, I needed a 1080p screen on my 15" laptop because the 768 just wasn't good enough but many reckon that they can't tell the difference :S

Sorry, no recomendations as I haven't been looking at that market in ages. Just seen this on HUKD though http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/dell-inspiron-15r-se-free-4gb-xbox-delivered-for-533-11-using-11-coupon-dell-1334792 minus £100 xbox, it leaves it similar in price to a basic RT tab. As you say though, it would be heavier and (probably) shorter battery life. IMO the additional capabilities are more than worth the tradeoff though (in saying that, if it doesn't fit your needs, it's not really an option).
Can I ask why go for Surface RT instead of an iPad?

blizzard7  Oct. 14, 2012 at 13:09


Sorry, no recomendations as I haven't been looking at that market in ages. Just seen this on HUKD though http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/dell-inspiron-15r-se-free-4gb-xbox-delivered-for-533-11-using-11-coupon-dell-1334792 minus £100 xbox, it leaves it similar in price to a basic RT tab. As you say though, it would be heavier and (probably) shorter battery life. IMO the additional capabilities are more than worth the tradeoff though (in saying that, if it doesn't fit your needs, it's not really an option).
Can I ask why go for Surface RT instead of an iPad?


Thanks for the pointer, but that laptop is a lot heavier than my MacBook Pro, so not really in the running. Some people can get by fine with additional weight and I respect that, but after carrying around my MacBook Pro for 3 years around Uni, it's time for something lighter.

Why Surface RT vs. iPad? Pretty simple really.
- Microsoft Office + Printing capabilities.
- microSD expansion
- 16:9 aspect ratio
- No iTunes reliance
- Flash support
- Touch Cover + Kickstand
- Full sized USB port so you can use a 3G/4G dongle, external DVD drive, external storage etc.
- micro HDMI out

P.S. Now that you mentioned Dell, checked them out. The Inspiron 14z would be perfect if it didn't have a 1366x768 display and mediocre reviews.

jaybear88  Oct. 14, 2012 at 20:11

Ample justification there :)

Just had a quick look on ebay for 14z 1080p screens (for a self upgrade) and it doesn't look like it's even an option, told you we were in the minority!

blizzard7  Oct. 14, 2012 at 23:22

Ample justification there :)

Just had a quick look on ebay for 14z 1080p screens (for a self upgrade) and it doesn't look like it's even an option, told you we were in the minority!


I really wish I could shake some CEOs and say "Why don't you get what consumers want!?". Apple seems to be the best at knowing what people want (or in Steve Jobs' case, making you think that they offer what you want), but Apple will only put in the bare minimum and charge a high mark-up for it.

CTPAHHIK  Oct. 15, 2012 at 13:33

Yes - Microsoft Surface RT will be able to run Skyrim ....
In slideshow mode :p

Inspiron is cheap line of Dell laptops - I recommend everyone to avoid them, unless you need something very very basic for web browsing that will stay in one play and not moved around. If Dell it has to be Studio range.

CTPAHHIK  Oct. 15, 2012 at 13:37


Just had a quick look on ebay for 14z 1080p screens (for a self upgrade) and it doesn't look like it's even an option, told you we were in the minority!


Only premium line of laptops feature 1080p - Envy, Studio, Z Series, etc. You will be hard pressed to find 1080p with 3 digit sticker in any form factor.

satchef1  Oct. 15, 2012 at 14:04

If it can run CivIV, V, Medieval II: Total War and Team Fortress 2 I'll be happy. If I need to get an i5 tablet to do this then I'll get an i5 tablet (probably Surface - it looks like the cream of the crop). iPad games are fun if you have 10 minutes to kill, but they don't do much for long train/plane/car journeys.

blizzard7  Oct. 15, 2012 at 22:49

Yes - Microsoft Surface RT will be able to run Skyrim ....
In slideshow mode :p

Inspiron is cheap line of Dell laptops - I recommend everyone to avoid them, unless you need something very very basic for web browsing that will stay in one play and not moved around. If Dell it has to be Studio range.


Dell don't have a Studio line any more?

CTPAHHIK  Oct. 16, 2012 at 09:16

Dell dropped Studio and left XPS. It used to be Studio XPS.

blizzard7  Oct. 16, 2012 at 15:28

So they've just announced Surface prices. $699 for the 64 GB model with a Touch Cover and full Microsoft Office. The same price as a 64 GB iPad on its own. Not particularly aggressive, but I'd say that's better value than an iPad considering its features and specs.

Stelph  Oct. 16, 2012 at 15:54

So they've just announced Surface prices. $699 for the 64 GB model with a Touch Cover and full Microsoft Office. The same price as a 64 GB iPad on its own. Not particularly aggressive, but I'd say that's better value than an iPad considering its features and specs.

Except that arguably what makes the iPad such a dominant player in the tablet market is its the app range and support, that microsoft is a long long way from matching. Android tablets almost always thump the iPad with respect to general features and specs but still the only tablet(s) that have come close to bringing the fight to the iPad are the Kindle fire and Nexus 7 showing IMO that price is the only way to take on the iPad.

I just hope the microsoft surface is meant to be the top end device, and that other manufactures will understand the market better and release Windows RT tablets that are closer to £200-£300 price range

blizzard7  Oct. 16, 2012 at 16:51

So they've just announced Surface prices. $699 for the 64 GB model with a Touch Cover and full Microsoft Office. The same price as a 64 GB iPad on its own. Not particularly aggressive, but I'd say that's better value than an iPad considering its features and specs.

Except that arguably what makes the iPad such a dominant player in the tablet market is its the app range and support, that microsoft is a long long way from matching. Android tablets almost always thump the iPad with respect to general features and specs but still the only tablet(s) that have come close to bringing the fight to the iPad are the Kindle fire and Nexus 7 showing IMO that price is the only way to take on the iPad.

I just hope the microsoft surface is meant to be the top end device, and that other manufactures will understand the market better and release Windows RT tablets that are closer to £200-£300 price range


That's the case for some people, but then again Android has millions of apps and I get by fine with a set of about 20 which has barely changed in a year.

Microsoft Office on it's own is a huge draw and shouldn't be underestimated either. There may be alternatives out there, some that are better than Microsoft Office at certain things, but it's a household name in the same way the iPhone is in terms of smartphones.

Also a Windows RT tablet at the £200 price mark is not happening any time soon, the specs would be too low.

blizzard7  Oct. 16, 2012 at 17:11

Just announced £399 in the UK.

With these specs: http://www.microsoft.com/Surface/en-US/surface-with-windows-rt/specifications

And up to 128 GB expansion by microSDXC, that's a steal.

satchef1  Oct. 16, 2012 at 18:19

I think it's priced right. For the same money, you can have a 16GB iPad or a 32GB Surface. Both have their plus sides - Apple's App Store is massive and the iPad's retina display is quite stunning and a massive jump over the screen res on the Surface. On the other hand, the Surface has more memory, a USB port and a microSDXC card slot that will take up to a 64GB microSD card. It includes Office Home and Student, and will work with pretty much all peripherals that currently work under Windows - printers, digital cameras, mobile phones, external hard drives etc.

I'd say both devices are pretty well matched. If you want a toy, buy an iPad (and I don't mean that in a derogatory way - they can be genuinely fun). If you want to get stuff done, buy a Surface. This is the problem Android tabs had IMHO - they had no identity. They existed as a 'me too' rather than aiming at a specific use.

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