Four months after being officially announced, the Archos GamePad is now available for purchase in some markets across Europe. Priced at 150 Euro (about $194), it is a rather unusual Android tablet marketed at gamers. The device offers physical gaming controls – a 4-way directional pad, a set of action buttons, and dual analog sticks, all the while being a fully functional Android device with access to Google apps and the Play store. What completes the package is the key mapping tool provided by Archos, which allows even games that are not optimized for the GamePad to work with its hardware buttons.
As far as hardware specs go, the Archos GamePad offers a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen with resolution of 1024 by 600 pixels. It is powered by a dual-core Cortex-A9 processor clocked at 1.6GHz backed up by a quad-core Mali 400 GPU and 1GB of RAM. You also get a front-facing camera, built-in speaker and microphone, 8GB of storage, and a slot for microSD cards. Wi-Fi connectivity is on board, but GPS is a no-go, according to the product's specs sheet. Android 4.1 Jelly Bean comes pre-loaded. The Archos GamePad is 10 millimeters thick and weighs 330 grams.
The Archos GamePad is scheduled to arrive in the U.S. early next year, presumably at a similar price.
The first true Android games console, the ARCHOS GamePad combines powerful tablet hardware with revolutionary gaming software
DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)--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.
this time archos is trying to do something that apple has always done with iDevices and I quiet like it. the processor is i guess enough for smooth operation given it will run jellybean but the GPU is a beast, Mali 400 single core is fast but quad core could blew away almost the same as iPad's graphic performance
I actually like it and the specs are not that bad. I also would like to see PA reviewing it!
Only worry I would have is battery life with the high frequency of the CPU and the most likely 45nm technology of the chip.
How on earth are we supposed to play with it since it's 7 inch! Of course, the game-play will be amazing because of the screen, however, i don't think this will be easy on the hands.
I'm just being skeptical...
PA, i hope you review this.
This is a genuine idea. Not a KIRF like the Droid X360! I'll wait for the reviews before I spend 200 bucks on just an android gamer. I'm not much of a mobile gamer. I didnt buy a heavy ass alienware laptop just to play angry birds on a 4 inch screen. I hope this is good. I dont want to buy sony's overpriced propriety crap. €38 for a 4gb memory stick! No sony. Not cool
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