By Anu Passary | Dec 08, 2012 09:52 AM EST
Earlier in August ARCHOS unveiled its GamePad, a portable Android-powered game console, which was an amalgamation of powerful tablet hardware with gaming software. The console was supposed to launch in October, but met with delays and has now finally made it to European shelves.
"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 Android(TM)-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," stated the press release.
With a dual-core processor in tow, the ARCHOS GamePad is not the most powerful console around; however, the budget friendly price may tilt the scales in the device's favor.
"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," said Archos founder and CEO Henri Crohas. "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."
The ARCHOS GamePad sports a 7-inch five-point capacitive touchscreen with a 1024 x 600 pixels resolution. The console is just 10mm (0.30 inch) thick and weighs just 330gms (0.7lbs), making its portable and the "perfect on-the-go gaming console." The console packs in a 1.6GHZ dual-core CPU, a quad-core Mali 400 MP GPU, 8GB of on-board memory (with an option to expand further up to 64GB via a microSD card), and 1GB of RAM.
The GamePad's built-in gaming controller has 14 physical buttons and dual-analog sticks. What's more, the GamePad also has a special ARCHOS mapping tool that will enable users to assign specific buttons for games that do not cater to the device's built-in controller.
"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," notes the ARCHOS press release.
The ARCHOS GamePad will attempt to give competition to popular traditional hand-held gaming consoles like the Nintendo 3DS and Sony PS Vita. Whether the console is successful in drawing consumers away from the Nintendo and Sony offerings; however, remains to be seen.
The ARCHOS GamePad is now available for purchase in Europe from the ARCHOS online store and will set consumers back by £129.98 or €149.99. Per reports, users in the U.S. will have to wait a tad longer, till early 2013, before they can lay their hands on the ARCHOS GamePad.
Check out the video below to see the GamePad in action.