While most gamers nowadays seem to have
traded their Nintendo DS and Sony PSP units for various smartphones
and tablets, if there's one thing those gamers miss the most, it's
the tactile, precision feedback that physical buttons provide. Well,
Archos seems to be targeting those folks with its latest device,
dubbed the GamePad, which outfits a 7” touchscreen with “wings”
that feature, among others, a pair of analog sticks and shoulder
It's like a gigantic PSP!
While most games in the Google Play
Store lack support for such physical controls out of the box, Archos
pre-loads a convenient solution, in the form of software that allows
one to map default touchscreen controls to the physical buttons.
Meanwhile, the touchscreen itself can handle up to five simultaneous
inputs at once for certain games that don't translate well to
buttons. Powering the device are a dual-core ARM Cortex A9 processor
running at 1.6Ghz paired with ARM Mali-400 MP graphics, which should
provide decent frame rates for most games, considering the somewhat
low screen resolution of 1024x600.
In the middle of button mapping
1GB of RAM, WiFi, 8GB of internal
storage, a microSD slot (supporting cards of up to 32GB in size), a
mini-HDMI video output, a USB port, a front webcam, a thickness of
0.6”, a weight of 11.6 ounces, and Android 4.1 “Jelly Bean”
round out the rest of the major specifications. One can hope that
Archos will eventually update the device to Android 4.2 sooner or
later. Considering the custom software, however, this is unlikely to
happen very soon.
Despite the baggage, the GamePad is still pretty thin
Already selling in Europe for €150
(about $199 US), the Archos GamePad may prove to be an interesting
alternative to the Google Nexus 7, for those looking to do more
gaming than, for example, movie watching, though the GamePad could
certainly handle that too. (Via Archos)