Google's decision to support game controllers natively in Ice Cream Sandwich has attracted the attention of many companies lately. Archos is the latest one to jump onto this bandwagon. The company has announced its first 7-inch gaming Android tablet that will give users a chance to experience holistic gaming on a tablet.
Dubbed as the GamePad,the tablet supports game controller APIs built into Android version 4.0 or later and its own controller "mapping" software that works with games without controller support.
Sharing more on the announcement, Henri Crohas, Archos Founder and CEO said, "When Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, was first released they included game controller support within the framework and that is when we decided to build the GamePad."
Featuring a 7-inch capacitive touch-screen, the GamePad is powered by a 1.5GHz dual-core processor with an integrated Mali-400MP quad-core GPU, the one used in Samsung's Galaxy S III.
There are two analog sticks on the tablet, a D-Pad as well as left and right shoulder buttons. It also has anHDMI port and a miscroSD card slot to compensated for the 8GB on-board storage. Strangely what's missing are details on the RAM and those of the screen in terms of the resolution and display.
Besides games, users will be able to access other apps, Internet, e-mail and more. The move comes as Archos recognises the need amongst tablet users for an enhanced gaming experience, which until now was missing due to lack of physical controls.
"Thanks to the mapping and automatic game recognition systems included on the GamePad, we already have over a thousand android games compatible with the Archos GamePad¹s physical controls, including back catalog titles that originally didn¹t include physical controls," continued Crohas.
The Archos GamePad will be available beginning October end this year and will retail for 150 euros or approximately $189. That is cheaper than the 8GB version of Google's Nexus 7 which is priced starting $199. The GamePad has some tough competition and it will need to deliver not just in terms of hardware but offer a hassle-free gaming experience as well.
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