Are virtual control pads stopping you from fully investing in touchscreen and tablet gaming? Archos believes that they might have the solution: a 7 inch Android tablet that boasts dual analogue sticks, face buttons and a handheld form factor (read: it looks like a skinny Vita). More excitingly, the GamePad will also cost less than £150.
We've got specs and details below.
The GamePad features a 7-inch capacitive touchscreen screen, D-Pad, triggers, four face buttons and two analog nubs. It's powered by a 1.5 GHz dual-core processor combined with a Mali 400mp quad-core GPU. In addition, the GamePad includes automatic game recognition and mapping tools, which should make most relatively advanced Android games compatible with the physical controls. As a Google certified tablet it will have full access to Google Play, and will naturally also have access to normal tablet functionality.
"Until now, tablets provided gamers with touch controls that lacked response and compatibility for their advanced games, providing a disappointing gaming experience," said Archos CEO Henri Crohas in the press release. "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€."
"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."
Developers, pundits and publishers alike are fiercely debating whether tablets will eventually remove the need for dedicated handheld consoles. Will hybrid tablets like this lead the charge? Or would you rather pay out a little more for a Vita or 3DS?
It will be interesting to see whether the Gamepad is compatible with Playstation Mobile...