Playing SimCity on a Surface Pro

YES, you can play the new SimCity on a Surface Pro. I did just that for a couple of hours last night. There’s even limited touch support. I was quite pleased with the experience.

There is one thing that you’ll need to know:

You’ll need to download a beta version of the Origin client from EA’s forums. If you’re running the currently released version of Origin (as I was) you’ll get a bogus error about “The game will not run in a virtual environment”. Thanks again to Scott Lowe at IGN for pointing this out.

There’s also one thing that you should know:

The game runs – in my opinion – just fine on the Surface Pro. Remember, though, that it’s a supremely portable two pound device and not a gaming PC that you can heat your house with. If you’re expecting it to run this game at 1920×1080 with all the graphical settings maxed out you’ll be disappointed. If that’s what you’re after then a computer with an Intel i5 CPU and Intel’s integrated HD4000 graphics might not be right for you.

I’ve fiddled with a bunch of options, and right now I’m running the game in a 1366×768 window. That lets me keep up with IM & Twitter while I’m playing without having to spend all my time working my ALT+TAB keys.

If you’ll excuse me, I’ve got some traffic problems to deal with…

  • Pusta

    I noticed you were also playing Civ V on the Surface Pro, how does that run?

  • afvincent

    Can we see a screen shot or two? This all that stands between me and a purchase of the Surface Pro!

  • yegman

    How is the battery life while playing the game?

  • thevowel

    @Pusta:disqus – I’m very happy with it, and they’ve updated the game with a good touch interface as well. The Surface Pro is my primary system for personal use – if it didn’t play Civ V well, I’d have to get something else :).
    @afvincent:disqus – uh… I’m not sure what you’d get from a screenshot of mine that you wouldn’t get from any of the 1000s of screenshots of the game that are already out there?
    @12baaa2b6e2c6d61c00f4fd81e6a2246:disqus – I haven’t tried it on battery, so no clue – sorry.

  • CrazyCougar

    Oh man, I really got to get a laptop that will run this! Its driving me nuts to not be playing Sim City right now.

  • Are the graphics all the way up at those settings though?

  • Xsled

    Hey, e! Enjoying my SimCity time on Surface as well! Curious, what settings are you playing on? Any recommendation on resolution outputting to a much larger display? Any thoughts on overheating Surface, causing permanent damage?

  • with settings on low game works great. got like 3 hours befor I had to [lug it in.