When it comes to Android devices made specifically with the gamers in mind, there’s not much choices in the market. There’s the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play which is a smartphone with physical PlayStation controls. There’s also the upcoming Kickstarter-funded product, Ouya, which is the first Anrdoid gaming console. That’s it basically.
Now Archos hits the slate market with their GamePad, a 7-inch Android tablet that comes with its own physical game controls including analog sticks on the side. Not much is revealed in terms of specs but it will run on a 1.5GHz dual-core processor with a Mali 400mp quad-core GPU.
What’s interesting here is that Archos developed its own control mapping and game recognition tool. The problem with the Sony Xperia Play is that in-game touch controls don’t automatically translate to physical controls, rendering them useless for most games. With Archos’ game controller support, you can map the virtual controls to the GamePad’s physical control buttons.
Game developers who took advantage of the physical controller support that was introduced in Ice Cream Sandwich will also have their games automatically be recognized by the GamePad’s system. Right now there’s over a thousand of such games according to Archos.
This Archos Gamepad is slated to arrive overseas at the end of October for 150€. No word yet if it will arrive in the country but I hope this unique product gets to see our shores.