So it turns out that Razer's Project Fiona is not the SwitchBlade in retail form, but - as we called it - a hybrid gaming tablet.
I don't want to say I told you say, but...
Schadenfreude aside, Razer's officially announced its new tablet at CES in Las Vegas, and to say the device is underwhelming is an understatement.
Razer's calling Fiona a 'PC Gaming Tablet'. Sure, it's got a Core i7 processor stashed in its slim case, but that does not a PC make. Once you go the tablet route, you more or less give up in PC gaming; sure, it can run the games, but they're being shoe-horned into a device that relies on a hybrid touch/control stick interface.
You may as well call a PSP a PC if that's how you're defining the platform.
So what does Project Fiona offer? You've got two controllers on either side of the tablet, each with four buttons, a thumbstick, a shoulder button and a trigger. The display offers multi-touch capacity, and the device has an accelerometer so you can wave it around. This, in Razer's own words, is a "PC gaming user interface designed for a tablet form factor". But here's Razer's take.
"While multi-touch screens have become the de facto user interface for tablets, they are not the right interface for serious PC gaming," said Min-Liang Tan, CEO, Razer, in today's release. "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."
I'd contend that even Fiona isn't the right interface for 'serious' gaming. Especially not in a multiplayer environment.
Imagine trying to play a PvP match in World of Warcraft using this device - up against someone playing on keyboard and mouse, you may as well just log out before things get embarrasing. The same would go for any shooter, such as BF3. Not that we think Fiona could really run BF3 - if you have a look at all the shots in the Razer gallery for the product, they're not exactly using ground-breaking graphics.
The thing is, if Razer hadn't pushed this is its idea of PC gaming, we'd likely feel more generous. But for a company that has relied on true PC gaming peripherals for its bread and butter - that is, mice and keyboards - it's a terribly off the mark product.
We're not fans - but what do you guys think? Hit? Or miss...