ARCHOS announced the 7-inch GamePad in August, but we were still waiting on a release. Looks our friends in Europe can get a taste of it starting today. It’s officially available for a price of €149.99 ($195). They also announced that those of us in North America can expect to see it in early 2013. If you’re not familiar with the GamePad, it’s a 7-inch Android tablet with physical gaming buttons and analog sticks. Usually devices such as these become boring pretty quickly once the user finds out the lack of support that it has, but ARCHOS promises that you will be able to play just about any Android game with the GamePad, thanks to the revolutionary mapping tool. Basically, users can map the buttons and sticks to any game. Not to shabby. The 7-inch display has a resolution of 1024 x 600, and the rest of the specs include a 1.6GHz dual-core CPU, quad-core Mali 400 GPU, 8GB of internal memory, microSD for up to an additional 64GB of space, and a mini-HDMI port. It’s 10mm thick, weighs 330g, and sports Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. I’m interested to get my hands on one to see if it’s everything it promises to be.
Full press release after the break:
ARCHOS GamePad Available
The first true Android games console, the ARCHOS GamePad combines powerful tablet hardware with revolutionary gaming software
DENVER, Dec 06, 2012 (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 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. A thin and light Android 4.1 Jelly Bean device, the GamePad also features full access to Google Play(TM) and Google Mobile Services and is now available in Europe for 149.99EUR 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 Play(TM): 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.
ARCHOS, pioneer in the portable audio and video player market, and now specializing in Android Tablets, has repeatedly revolutionized the market for consumer electronics since 1988. Today, ARCHOS offers Android Tablets, Tablet PCs and MP3/MP4 players. In 2000, ARCHOS launched the Jukebox 6000, the first MP3 player combined with a hard disk. Then in 2003 ARCHOS introduced the first portable multimedia players with TV recording. In 2006 Wi-Fi is implemented and then touch screens in 2007. In 2008, ARCHOS launched the first generation Internet Tablets, and then the first ever Android powered tablets in 2009. ARCHOS has offices in the United States, Europe and Asia. ARCHOS is quoted on Compartment B of Eurolist, Euronext Paris, ISIN CodeFR0000182479. Website: www.archos.com .