By Alexandra Burlacu | Sep 07, 2012 04:41 PM EDT
The Android-powered Wikipad gaming tablet is now available for pre-order starting Friday, Sept. 7, at GameStop stores and the retailer's Web site, and will be available at retail on Oct. 31, with a $499 price tag. It sports a 10-inch display, a Tegra 3 processor and Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, and it is the first tablet with an attachable gamepad controller for console quality.
"The Wikipad is one of the thinnest, lightest, fastest tablets on the market and it's going to be running Android Jelly bean on its 10.1 inch IPS screen with 1280 by 800 resolution," said Wikipad CEO James Bower. "It does everything your tablet would normally do, but we've added into the bundle an attachable game controller with all of the buttons and joysticks that you would normally expect from a gamepad. This allows you to not only play the Android games that are calibrated for gamepad control, but also all of the PlayStation Mobile streaming games that are coming to market from Sony."
Moreover, Wikipad also signed a deal with Gaikai (formerly known as the Sony Cloud Service) for streaming games, and Bower said that details about those games will be coming soon. The Wikipad tablet will also play games from Nvidia's Tegra Zone, which were specifically designed to take advantage of its quad-core processor, as well as Google Play. The tablet was recently showcased at the GameStop EXPO in San Antonio, Texas, and games demonstrated on the device included Rockstar Games' Max Payne and Madfinger Games' Shadow Gun.
"We always want to be in the center of innovation," said Joe Gorman, Gamestop's vice president of its mobile business unit, as cited by Forbes. "We want to get there before the customer gets there. Wikipad is another good example. The Wikipad folks are a really innovative bunch. I was out on the show floor playing Max Payne on this tablet and it feels like you're playing a console game. It's just fantastic. We're really excited to have Wikipad in the Gamestop universe."
According to Bower, his team has worked closely with Nvidia to ensure the games are console-quality and deliver a great experience even for the hardcore gamer. "We've been working with NVIDIA for some time and there are some distinct advantages when it comes to gameplay on the Tegra 3 processor," he said.
"The graphics are fantastic," added Bower. It's very fast and intuitive, and it allows us to play a lot more content than some of the other processors that are out there. The sony PlayStation Mobile platform is already pre-calibrated to play on the Tegra platform, which is a great advantage for using Tegra."
Tablets have seen a great surge in popularity recently, and more gamers are now playing on tablets even if they have a console as well. Wikipad joins a wider range of tablets offered by Gamestop, including Tegra-powered Android devices from Asus, Acer, Toshiba, and other tablets such as the Google Nexus 7, Acer Iconia, Toshiba Excite 10, and ASUS TF300t.
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