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Back in August, Archos announced its then-upcoming GamePad, a tablet which looks to "revolutionize" gaming on Android. Featuring built-in physical game controls and custom button mapping software, the GamePad removes the need for touch controls, giving mobile gaming a more console-like feel, while its 7" display still keeps it portable enough to toss in your bag and take on-the-go. And now, it's finally available.

The GamePad is on sale in Europe for 149.99€, with North American availability coming in early 2013. The GP features some fairly decent specs, which should make for a solid gaming experience:

  • 7" 1024x600 display
  • 1.6GHz dual-core processor, with Mali 400 MP GPU
  • 8GB onboard storage with microSD card slot and support for up to 64GB of additional space
  • miniHDMI out
  • Android 4.1

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At this time, there's no official word on North American pricing, but we'll keep you posted as soon as more information becomes available.

More info

The first true Android games console, the ARCHOS GamePad combines powerful tablet hardware with revolutionary gaming software

DENVER--(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 AndroidTM-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 PlayTM and Google Mobile Services and is now available in Europe for 149.99€ 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 PlayTM: 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.

ATTENTION DEVELOPERS

Developers interested in getting their current and upcoming games mapped for the ARCHOS GamePad can contact GamePad@archos.com.

Cameron Summerson
Cameron is a self-made geek, Android enthusiast, horror movie fanatic, musician, and cyclist. When he's not pounding keys here at AP, you can find him spending time with his wife and kids, plucking away on the 6-string, spinning on the streets, or watching The Texas Chainsaw Massacre on repeat.

  • maxkobi

    is this 2 units? or is the controller part of the tablet?

    • McLean Riley

      It is all one piece from what I can tell

    • http://www.facebook.com/rob.watkins.7 Rob Watkins

      It's one device. The tablet has hardware controls and Archos proprietary button mapping software built in. This way you can play any game with the hardware controls, even if the game only offers touchscreen controls.

  • lordmerovingian

    Hmmm, smells of another Tapwave Zodiac. Anyone remember those...?

    • Eli R

      I had one, sent it in for repairs, the complany closed down.. never got it back. It was cool while it lasted, i remember the emulator on it for snes9x was fun on that little nub of a joypad

      • lordmerovingian

        I actually used to sell them when i sold electronics. There was a 32MB and a 128MB version, AND they had dual SD card slots if I remember correctly. For a Palm OS device to have built in graphics, 'twas a thing to behold. I think they were ahead of their time and Palm OS being as it was, didn't do them any favours either.

  • Cheeseball

    Not bad specs. It's like a GT-I9100/GT-N7000 with a bigger screen and hardware controls.

  • Hadi

    Seems like it's only useful for games with on-screen buttons. It'll be good with emulators as well. Playing games that make use of swiping features might be a little difficult, if not impossible, to map to the gamepad. I don't see how I'd be playing Chrono Trigger using the gamepad.

  • Katavic

    It would be great if hardware controls would be removable, but I will probably buy this tablet nevertheless. I hope that speakers are loud enough

  • Dima Aryeh

    It'd be absolutely useless... but that mapping software, do want

  • http://twitter.com/jmorabito1 Josh Morabito

    what game is that?

  • apodonas

    hey!what about the battery?no information?how long does it last?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1745689461 Hal Motley

    I would have been way more sold (and paid more) if there was a Tegra and if I knew how much RAM there was.

    I'll stick with my 3DS XL and SuperCard DSTWO for emulation on a handheld with a physical controls. Though I am interested in playing some Android games with a physical controller enabled, Riptide for instance.

  • skeeterfood

    If you intend to buy this, make sure it's exactly what you want when you buy it. Based on past experiences, it will only get minimal updates to unimportant things before they stop supporting it and they usually don't sell enough to have much of a dev community.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

      After slightly bashing Archos, I have to step in and say that their 101XS is getting a JB update.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=708741524 Robb Nunya

    I'll stick with my Nexus 7 and Nyko gamepad, thanks. I still don't trust Archos completely.

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