While we wouldn’t normally cover new phone hardware at Traxion.GG, the new Microsoft Surface Duo 2 launched earlier this evening caught our eye.
The Android-based folding phone-tablet-thing’s main aim is the multitasking of apps. Outlook on one side, Word on the other, for example. It has a powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, 5G connectivity and 8B of RAM – all for the princely sum of $1,499.99.
The split-screen poses a strange proposition for mobile gaming, but the Redmond-based tech giant has thought of that too. You hold the phone in a landscape orientation, with the game mainly playing on the top screen and controls or other information on the bottom.
For mobile racing game fans, it was announced that a specifically Surface Duo 2optimised version of Asphalt 9: Legends (or Asphalt Legends 9 as it was mistakenly called during the launch – derp) by Gameloft will be available. In the brief demo, you could see the Chevrolet Corvette jumping through the air above, while the lower section of the fold was displaying a full-size road map.
In addition, there was a lot of talk about Game Pass, and how the bottom screen can be used as a dedicated touch-control pad. In theory, then, racing games that support Game Pass Cloud Gaming will work on this phone – as they would with any Android device – but there also looks to be a Duo-shaped icon on the library to perhaps indicate if titles support the Duo 2’s split-screen functionality.
DIRT 5 and art of rally looked to be the only racing games shown at this point that uses this feature. Also neat.
Let’s wait and see how this works in practice before we get too carried away, shall we? Much like 3D TVs and MySpace, we’re still not entirely sure folding phones are here to stay.