The ARCHOS GamePad is one of just a few tablets that are outfitted with hardware controls for gaming. Since the Wikipad failed to make it to market on time then Archos gets the privilege of saying it has beat other major competitors as its device is now available for sale in Europe. You’d be buying the device for €149.99 if you’re interested, but as the currency suggests this one is going to be available for Europeans to start.
What you’re looking at is a 7 inch 1024x600beaut that has a 1.6GHz dual-core processor (outfitted with a quad-core Mali-400MP GPU) and will run Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. You’ll get 8GB of internal storage that can be expanded by up to 64GB using a microSD card, it has a micro HDMI port and the device is only .3 inches thin while weighing just .7 pounds.
GamePad controls flank the left and right of the display and feature dual analog sticks, four main face buttons, four directional buttons, dual shoulder buttons and more. In other words, this thing is like a PS Vita, except bigger and has the backing power of the Google Play Store.
Those of us in the United States will have our chance to purchase one of these bad boys come Q1 2013, but Archos is not interested in giving us a solid date to look forward to right now. We’re expecting to see more of this thing at CES, and perhaps that is when we’ll also find out when we can line up to purchase one. Read on for full press details.
ARCHOS GamePad Available
The first true Android games console, the ARCHOS GamePad combines powerful tablet hardware with revolutionary gaming software
Denver, CO – December 6, 2012 – ARCHOS, announces the retail availability of the highly anticipated GamePad, a new type of tablet that combines physical gaming button controls and an ARCHOS patented mapping tool with a full AndroidTM-powered tablet experience. Bringing physical buttons and analog thumb-sticks to mobile gaming, the ARCHOS GamePad blends power with unique mapping software that allows you to link the virtual controls of any game to physical controls. A thin and light Android 4.1 Jelly Bean device, the GamePad also features full access to Google PlayTM and Google Mobile Services and is now available in Europe for 149.99€ with a North American release scheduled for early Q1 2013.
“Android device users spend more than 9 hours a month gaming on their devices and yet are not completely satisfied with the touch-screen experience,” says Henri Crohas, Founder and CEO of ARCHOS. “We feel this area of gaming is proven and will continue to grow. With the introduction of the GamePad we are uniquely positioned to feed the demand of gamers who want a better gaming experience on a tablet.”
By combining the GamePad’s 14 physical buttons and dual analog thumb-sticks with the revolutionary ARCHOS game mapping tool (exclusive to ARCHOS), the GamePad brings the physical aspect back to the gaming experience. Adding to the experience is the 16 million color, seven inch, five point capacitive, 1024 x 600 Pixel screen. At only 10 mm (0.3 inch) thin and with a weight of 330g (0.7 lbs), the ARCHOS GamePad is the perfect on the go gaming console.
REVOLUTIONARY MAPPING TOOL
Thanks to the revolutionary ARCHOS mapping tool, even back catalog games that weren’t made for physical controls can work with the physical controls of the ARCHOS GamePad; ‘map’ any on-screen virtual control to the physical controls of the GamePad for hundreds of games within the tool or use its drag-and-drop interface to ‘map’ any game in seconds.
Check out our YouTube video showing how easy it is to use: HOW TO MAP BUTTONS
The mapping profile for each game is automatically saved so whenever that game is launched in the future, the ARCHOS game mapping tool will automatically load the corresponding mapping profile.
FEATURES & SPECS
Operating System: Google Certified Android 4.1 Jelly Bean
Smooth Gaming Experience with 3D Graphics: Quad-core Mali 400 MP GPU paired with a 1.6GHz Dual-core CPU.
Memory: 8GB of internal memory with microSD slot or up to 64GB of additional space.
Mini-HDMI: Use the mini-HDMI port to connect the GamePad to your TV for a big screen viewing experience.
Google PlayTM: 700,000 apps and games and includes DRM support for downloading books, magazines, music, movies and TV shows.
ARCHOS Media Center applications: tailor made apps for video and music that include metadata scraping, auto-subtitles and of course, the best format and codec support around including 1080p video decoding.
For more information about GamePad visit www.ARCHOS.com.
Developers interested in getting their current and upcoming games mapped for the ARCHOS GamePad can contact GamePad@archos.com.
ARCHOS, pioneer in the portable audio and video player market, and now specializing in Android Tablets, has repeatedly revolutionized the market for consumer electronics since 1988. Today, ARCHOS offers Android Tablets, Tablet PCs and MP3/MP4 players. In 2000, ARCHOS launched the Jukebox 6000, the first MP3 player combined with a hard disk. Then in 2003 ARCHOS introduced the first portable multimedia players with TV recording. In 2006 Wi-Fi is implemented and then touch screens in 2007. In 2008, ARCHOS launched the first generation Internet Tablets, and then the first ever Android powered tablets in 2009. ARCHOS has offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. ARCHOS is quoted on Compartment B of Eurolist, Euronext Paris, ISIN CodeFR0000182479. Website: www.archos.com.