updated 05:38 pm EST, Thu December 6, 2012
GamePad packs full Android experience and joystick
Archos has announced the retail availability of its GamePad tablet, which combines an Android tablet experience with the physical inputs of a traditional portable gaming console. The Android 4.1 Jelly Bean device comes with full access to Google's Play Store and mobile services, and Archos has previously said that it would be compatible with more than 1,000 games on the Play Store out of the box, without the need for updates from developers. The Archos GamePad is now available for purchase in Europe for 150€, and it is scheduled for a North American release in the first quarter of 2013.
In addition to its 7-inch 1024x600 touchscreen, the GamePad has 14 physical buttons and dual analog thumb-sticks. Inside, it has a quad-core Mali 400 MP GPU paired wit ha 1.6GHz dual-core CPU, as well as 8GB of storage expandable to 64GB with microSD card.
Using Archos' mapping tool, even back catalog games that were not designed for physical controls can be made to work with the GamePad's physical controls. Users can, within seconds, map any on-screen virtual control to the GamePad's physical controls using a drag-and-drop interface.
It also comes with Archos' Media Center applications, tailor made apps for video and music that include metadata scraping, auto-subtitles, and increased format and codec support, as well as the ability to decode 1080p video. The Archos GamePad is now available for purchase in Europe for 150€, and it is scheduled for a North American release in the first quarter of 2013.