Back in August, Archos introduced us to its gaming handheld and tablet hybrid called the GamePad. This machine is essentially an Android powered tablet, but it also includes non-detachable controls that greatly resembles the PlayStation Vita. If this intrigues you, you should know the Archos GamePad went on sale today in Europe in €149.99 ($193). It’ll be coming to North America in the first quarter of 2013.
The Archos GamePad could be a very big deal for Android gaming. It runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean, has a 7-inch 1024×600 screen, a 1.6GHz dual-core processor, a quad-core GPU, 8GB of internal storage with microSD card support and a micro-HDMI port.
The one thing I have to knock is the screen resolution. By today’s standards, 1024×600 isn’t great for a tablet-sized device. But considering its price, sacrifices had to be made somewhere.
The Archos GamePad also supports Google’s full suite of software such as Google Play, Gmail and Google Maps. This will ensure you’ll get all the same games that other Android devices can access. Sometimes with these kinds of devices, the primary app store comes from a third-party. I’m glad that’s not the case this time.
Button mapping on this device can be done with special software. Many games are already compatible, but developers can get in touch with Archos to make their games officially compatible with its button mapping software.