While gaming on a touchscreen device is viable, it’s far cry from the tactile experience found on consoles and handhelds, such as the PSP or Nintendo 3DS. Nevertheless, there are thousands of games available, and as a result millions of gamers suffering through an anything but engaging experience.
While the Wikipad, Bladepad, and Gameklip all look like viable options, none of them are as fully baked, at least in terms of looks and software as Archos’ Gamepad. At the center of the device is a 7-inch touchscreen, though they haven’t disclosed display specs beyond that. A set of analog sticks, physical buttons, and Archos proprietary software (automatic game recognition and mapping tools) that maps virtual game controls to the physical ones, further the viability of this slender looking Android device. And speaking of which, it will ship with Ice Cream Sandwich and a a dual-core processor at 1.5 GHz combined with a Mali 400mp quad-core GPU. Needless to say, things should hum along nicely since we saw a comparable hardware setup in Archos’ 101 XS.
According to Archos, over 1000 games are already compatible with the Gamepad. And thanks to a dev kit you can expect many more to be developed accordingly when it releases this October for about $180.