04
Jun
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It's been a long road for the Wikipad, but in one short week, the odd little device will finally be available for purchase. After more than 18 months of development a complete redesign, the Wikipad will be launched next Tuesday, June 11th, at the reasonable price of $249 (including the unique controller add-on sleeve). The initial product push will be on Wal-mart.com, BestBuy.com, and TigerDirect.com, with more online and retail partners set to be announced after the E3 gaming show in July.

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You could be forgiven for thinking the Wikipad tablet itself looks a lot like the Nexus 7, because it does, and not just on the outside. The 7-inch, 1280x800 screen hides a quad-core Tegra 3 processor, 1GB of RAM,and 16GB of storage (plus a MicroSD card slot, not present on the Nexus). The Nexus also lacks HDMI-out, included here, plus a slightly smaller 4100mAh battery and a slightly denser 2MP front-facing camera.

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The Wikipad's point of distinction comes from that detachable controller sleeve, mirroring most console controls with two analog sticks, a d-pad, a couple of navigation buttons, four primary ABXY buttons shoulder buttons and triggers, and some boosted speakers. When the tablet is inserted into the sleeve, it's roughly the size and shape of the Wii U controller.

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On the software side of things, the WikiPad runs a near-stock version of Jelly Bean 4.1 with access to the Google Play Store. A few pack-in apps like Skype are there as well, but dedicated Android users should be fairly familiar with everything. Gaming-focused software includes NVIDIA's TegraZone, Big Fish Unlimited web games, and most importantly, PlayStation Mobile. The WikiPad is one of only a handful of non-Sony devices that have received PlayStation Mobile certification, and thus, access to some updated original PlayStation games and new titles that aren't available to Android at large.

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The Wikipad's hardware was shown off in concept form at CES 2012, and between now and then, it's gone from cutting-edge to decidedly budget. While the removable controller is interesting, it might not be enough to sway gamers away from newer, more powerful hardware - those willing to spend a bit more can afford afford faster Snapdragon and Exynos-powered tablets with 2GB of RAM, to say nothing of upcoming Tegra 4 devices. But with the exception of NVIDIA's own Shield, those don't have the benefit of hardware controls.

The Wikipad will be launching in the United Kingdom and other worldwide markets later this summer.

Wikipad.com

(LOS ANGELES, CA – June 4, 2013) -- Wikipad, Inc. today announced its 7” Wikipad tablet will be available on June 11, 2013 at a retail price of $249 in the US, with an UK and global launch planned for this summer. Thanks to its award wining and patented interchangeable game controller, Wikipad redefines the mobile tablet experience bringing together the console quality experience with the functionality and portability of a premium tablet.

“The launch of the Wikipad 7 tablet signals a transformative turning point in the direction of the mobile gaming industry. Wikipad’s tablet combines the latest range of features found in a premium Android tablet together with the unrivaled console video game experience only available with a gamepad,” said Matthew Joynes, Chairman of Wikipad Inc.

The Wikipad is the only tablet to possess both the unique combination of a console quality experience with the functionality and portability of a tablet thanks to its award-winning and patented detachable dual-analog controller. Wikipad offers a multi capacitive 7 inch touch screen, 16 GB memory with an additional micro SD slot to support a further 32 GB of storage, together with micro USB, GPS, accelerometer and gyroscope. The tablets ultra-light and thin chassis is powered by the NVIDIA® Tegra® 3 quad-core mobile processor that's optimized for cloud gaming with a 12 core Nvidia GPU. With an aspect ratio of 16:10, a 2-mega-pixel front facing camera the Wikipad tablet offers true widescreen HD display and HDMI out.

Consumers will have instant access to entertainment and videogame content of over 700,000 apps from Google Play from Google Mobile Services, PlayStation®Mobile games from Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., and TegraZone – NVIDIA's free app that showcases the best games optimized for the Tegra processor. When the gamepad controller is detached, Wikipad’s sleek design and full Android 4.1 Jelly Bean functionality make it a powerfully versatile tablet for surfing the web, emailing, enjoying all the latest films, books, magazines and music, conversing via Skype or experiencing the latest apps at home or on the go.

Wikipad's dual-analog gamepad controller transforms our mobile games such as the multiplayer Shadowgun: DeadZone and the action FPS Dead Trigger into entertaining AAA console-like experiences," Tomas Slapota, Vice President, MADFINGER Games

For a full list of retailers, product specs, a comprehensive support page, technical forums, retailers and video games that take full advantage of the Wikipad’s dual-analog stick controller, please visit: http://www.wikipad.com/

Jeremiah Rice
Jeremiah is a US-based blogger who bought a Nexus One the day it came out and never looked back. In his spare time he watches Star Trek, cooks eggs, and completely fails to write novels.
  • youareme7

    I wish Nvidia had gone this route instead of the shield route; I like the 7" screen and that the controller is detachable. I would love to see an accessory for the hopefully upcoming nexus 7 to have a controller surround like this

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Well, NVIDIA has gone their own route, and Wikipad has done this - now you have a choice. NVIDIA is trying its own thing, and I'm curious to see where it leads them. It's a good thing that different companies are trying to go in different directions - we don't need them all to do the same thing.

      • HopelesslyFaithful

        plus the market tends to be very surprising on what does and does not get adapted....look at apple -_-

  • Tim Gueusquin

    So basically this is what the Nexus 7 hardware specs should've been without the controller...

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      Correct.

      • gspida

        With the hdmi out do you have to use a mhl adapter? If not how does it work? I also read on the website that it will also connect via wifi.

    • Ivan Myring

      Cyanide and happiness!

  • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

    Having played with this at GDC, I'm quite excited about Wikipad. Terrible name, but I really enjoyed this form factor for gaming, and the tablet itself was fantastically well built and reminded me a lot of a Nexus 7, but with the niceties the N7 is missing (such as an SD card and HDMI out).

    Wish it came out sooner - last year would have been perfect.

    I also asked them if they were planning to decouple the controller from the tablet and release it separately, but the answer at the time was no, even for just a few of the most popular tablets. They want to concentrate on doing this one thing right now, and see how that goes first. Plus, the tablet actually runs some custom stuff under-the-hood to integrate the controller, which would make such a separate controller unit harder to release.

  • Logan Jinks

    I too think that this looks like a better solution than the Nvidia Shield. The price point also seems a lot better as well. Being able to use the tablet separately from the controller make this device that much more valuable. I hope Nvidia takes note.

  • Guest

    why would you not put an hdmi port on a device like this? what the hell??? oh whoops, the nexus 7 doesn't have it and the wikipad does. Well, thank god

    • Alex

      The article says that it has an HDMI port? It says that the N7 doesn't.

  • S. Ali

    Dead on arrival. Might as well spend that money on a Vita or 3DS. Android simply doesn't have good games.

    • Loren Cogar

      Umm Vita and 3DS are not tablets and game titles are way more expensive. Go troll somewhere else.

      • S. Ali

        Bookmark my post, and come back in 6 months when this company is out of business. Lets see who is right. Bookmarked.

        • Krzysztof

          Good point. I just sold my Nexus 7 and bought Vita instead. I'm sick of games that are poorly optimized for android and all those IAP. Id rather pay more for a game up front and get a full version. The problem with gaming on android is that even if you get the latest device, it will be out of date year later where on the other hand PS Vita will still have great games with even better graphics just like the PSP did five years later after its release.

        • Ben Milford

          I believe it is indeed dead.

      • Szondikapitány 2.0

        But games =/= IAP fart apps

      • Avery

        umm i know for a fact animal crossing new leaf is better than any android game ever made worth the price of a 3DS IMO

      • WhyWai

        Vita is building up 1-5 bucks indie games too nowadays..
        And those high end games on Tegrazone also might cost up to 15 bucks, similar to vita/3DS.
        as much as an android fans, handheld console still the best way to play game..

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ Artem Russakovskii

      I kind of disagree.

  • GraveUypo

    love the concept but i think the hardware is kinda dated at this point and that stupid windows-ish logo on the middle is something it could make without.

  • Steve Green

    They should have made this controller an add on for the Nexus 7 and left it at that.

  • brian miller

    I played with the wikipad at a convention in san fran and I was really impressed. The creators told me some of the plans for later models and I think the wikipad company is really going to revolutionize gaming.

  • Bryan Pizzuti

    I wonder if PlayStation Mobile will give me Final Fantasy 7 on this....plus I can read my Google Magazines, and it should make a nice Kindle reader and Netflix player (especially with the decent speakers)

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