Archos Gamepad: An XL Android Powered PS Vita.

Archos Gamepad: An XL Android Powered PS Vita.

Archos Gamepad

 

Industry experts are saying that smartphone gaming is killing the console market by offering cheaper alternatives for more casual gamers. While this might be true, Archos is making it a whole lot easier.

At CES last month, they unveiled their new Archos Gamepad. The device is effectively a 7 inch Android tablet with a connected gamepad. The device is styled very similarly to Sony’s pocket gaming offering, but that’s where the similarities stop. This thing is the definition of Android Gaming.

The device is running near stock Android 4.1 JellyBean, with the exception of the button mapping software (I’ll get to that in a moment). Under the hood is a Quad Core graphics chip being assisted by a Dual Core 1.6ghz main processor. Also included are 1gb of ram, 8Gb onboard storage (SD expansion for another 64gb) a front facing camera, and HDMI out support.

While the specs are pretty impressive, they should be higher for a device that claims to be a gaming power house. Even so, preliminary reviews have said that the majority of games work pretty well with the included specs.

What really sets this device apart though is the ability to map onscreen buttons to the physical game controls. The innovative technology has a service running in the background and when you fire up a game, you click the button (conveniently located on the navigation bar at all times), and you can accurately choose which hardware buttons correspond to which onscreen keys. It is VERY cool and the profiles are saved on a per application basis.

archos-gamepad-button-mapping

The possibilities here are endless. Many modern games come with the hardware control compatability right out of the box. Some, such as Sonic CD and ShadowGun, have been demoed and work without the mapping. For some other random games, you can very easily choose your button map right when the game begins and play in comfort.

This also opens the door to a whole new world of gaming. There are many…less than legal video game emulators available for android. Classic NES games, to PlayStation 1 games, to Gameboy Advance and Nintendo DS games can all be emulated on Android devices. Those combined with the controls on this device really appeal to any gamer looking for a tablet.

Aside from it’s gaming focus, the device is still an Android tablet at heart. Users have full access to the Play store and all Google services with the device. Just icing on the cake.

The device is currently available in the UK for


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Joel

Just a nerdy guy in the United States. Passionate about all new technology. Avid hater of haters.

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