I was mildly intrigued by the idea of boardgames played virtually on a tablet such as the iPad. However, Microsoft's Surface continues to impress me, this time showing off Settlers of Catan.
Watch the video:
Now, some people may ask what advantage the Surface has over something like the iPad? Aren't they both just touchscreen interfaces and isn't the Surface super expensive? Yes, to both questions, but both are besides the points.
The iPad and like devices are touchscreen, but that's it. The Surface incorporates cameras within the screen to identify tags on different objects. That is how in the video both the real dice and card blinds work. That's the benefit of the Surface and why it's the better platform for virtual board gaming: it is meant to be used with real objects, not just virtual.
That leaves only the price at play and the Surface is expensive. But then again it is marketed as something that would be installed in a cafe or arcade of some sort, not a home use gadget (yet!). I really think Microsoft has a much better chance at long term success with the Surface vs. the flame of the moment tablets (which like netbooks, I guarantee will burn out soon enough).