Microsoft Unveils Surface 2

Last week Microsoft unveiled the Surface 2, Surface Pro 2 and an expanded portfolio of new Surface accessories that will be released Oct. 22. These are to replace the current Surface RT, which has been notorious for not being all that great. Microsoft claims the Surface 2s have significant updates, including updated processors, battery life, camera resolution, better display and the Kickstand.

Surface 2 is powered by an NVIDIA Tegra 4 processor with a 10.6-inch ClearType HD display (1080p). There is a full USB 3.0 port, with a 3.5-megapixel front camera and 5-megapixel rear camera (both 1080p, and improved low-light performance), not to mention much thinner than the RT.


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Monster Hunter Smart — when it’s finally released, it will be free. Photo courtesy Capcom

The Surface Pro 2 includes everything mentioned above (minus the Tegra 4), and could be a true laptop replacement as it’s capable of running all of your Windows software, including the full Microsoft Office suite as well as apps from the Windows Store. It offers you the portability of a tablet when you want it, yet the power and flexibility of a laptop when you need it. It is powered by an Intel i5 processor, which along with the other improvements gives you up to 75 percent longer battery life than the original RT.

Both ship with Windows RT 8.1, which includes the Windows Store and cloud connectivity. The new Xbox Music allows you to stream millions of songs for free, and an updated video app and games from the Windows Store such as Halo: Spartan Assault.

New accessories include the Touch Cover 2, a thinner, lighter cover ($120); Power Cover extends your battery life ($200); Docking Station lets you quickly connect ($200); Wireless Adapter for Typing Covers connects magnetically to any Touch or Type Cover ($60); or Car Charger ($50); Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition ($70).

You can pre-order your Surface 2 (32GB or 64GB starting at $449) or Surface Pro 2 (64GB or 128GB starting at $899) at The original Surface RT will still live on and costs $349.

More from Tokyo Game Show 2013

On another note, now that this year’s Tokyo Game Show (TGS) is over, it was announced that the total number of attendees was 270,197, the highest ever. It was an increase of 46,444 from last year. Perhaps part of this was that the expo area was slightly larger this year.

Some mobile games I noted this year include Capcom’s Monster Hunter Smart, Otorenja, Dragon’s Dogma Quest, and Square Enix’s Final Fantasy IV for iOS (no release dates yet for the U.S.). When Monster Hunter Smart finally releases, it will be free and seems to focus on showing the ease of hunting with one hand, whenever and wherever, and you see more role-playing game (RPG) elements, such as numbers indicating damage appearing after each hit. Otorenja (iOS) operates on rhythm and features cutesy Power Ranger-like characters, whereas Dragon’s Dogma Quest (iOS) is a straight-up RPG. Pricing for these two has not been announced.

Final Fantasy IV: The After Years will be released for iOS and Android, and has a remade 3-D look, new monsters and new levels. It hasn’t announced any pricing for this game.