ARCHOS introduced its GamePad today, the company's first 7-inch Android-powered gaming tablet. The GamePad comes equipped with physical control buttons, joysticks, and a capacitive display, along with a 1.5 GHz dual core processor and Mali 400mp quad-core GPU underneath the hood. The GamePad is unlike anything we've seen in the Android world so far, and is more akin to a PSP than a tradition Android tablet. The GamePad comes equipped with Ice Cream Sandwich and access to the Google Play store, though it looks like most will purchase the GamePad strictly for gaming. ARCHOS says that it'll include tools to enable the physical controls to take the place of virtual navigation on current Android games, and will work with developers to design games specifically for the GamePad.
We took a look at ARCHOS' latest flagship tablet, the 101 XS, earlier this month, and coupled with the new GamePad, ARCHOS looks to be thinking outside of the box to make a name for itself in the tablet market. The GamePad is scheduled late October release with a pricetag of "less than 150€ (or $188)". ARCHOS' full presser can be found after the break.
ARCHOS combines physical gaming controls with a full Android-powered tablet to create the GamePad
Denver, CO – August 29, 2012 - ARCHOS, an award-winning innovator in consumer electronics, is proud to announce their first gaming tablet. This new type of tablet, the GamePad, combines gaming controls with Android for a full tablet and gaming experience in one. Gamers will not only have access to all their favorite games, they will also have access to email, Internet, apps and more through one device.
The GamePad features a 7-inch, capacitive screen, physical control buttons and analog sticks. This Google certified tablet has full access to Google PlayTM for the tens of thousands of games available, runs a dual-core processor @ 1.5 GHz combined with a Mali 400mp quad-core GPU. In addition, the GamePad includes automatic game recognition and mapping tools – patented technology to ensure control compatibility with every advanced Android game.
Until now, tablets provided gamers with touch controls that lacked response and compatibility for their advanced games, providing a disappointing gaming experience. As one of the main tablet uses, there is a strong need for a tablet that does more for gaming. Thanks to the complete touch and physical controls of the ARCHOS GamePad, Gamers can enhance their experience starting at the end of October 2012 for less than 150€.
"When Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, was first released they included game controller support within the framework and that is when we decided to build the GamePad," says Henri Crohas, ARCHOS Founder and CEO.
Some leading game developers have already embraced the physical controller support that was introduced with ICS rendering their apps compatible with the physical controls of the GamePad or with game controllers plugged into tablets or phones.
However many games originally did not include physical control mapping, which is why ARCHOS developed their mapping and game recognition tool; a patented technology that allows any virtual controls to be mapped the GamePad's physical control buttons.
"Thanks to the mapping and automatic game recognition systems included on the GamePad, we already have over a thousand android games compatible with the ARCHOS GamePad's physical controls, including back catalog titles that originally didn't include physical controls," continued Crohas.
Over the past six months, ARCHOS has been discussing the GamePad with leading Android game developers around the world to make their games compatible with the GamePad's physical controls and now we invite others to participate.
Developers interested in getting their current and upcoming games mapped for the ARCHOS GamePad can contact GamePad@archos.com.