on Thursday announced the retail availability of its new GamePad device
, or the "first true Android games console," as the company pitches it. The Android
-powered GamePad is a new type of tablet that combines physical gaming button controls and Archos' patented mapping tool with a full Android tablet experience built around Jelly Bean
(Android 4.1). It features full access to Google Play
and Google Mobile Services.
It's also only available in Europe for the time being, where it's selling for 149.99€, or $194.75 in U.S. currency. Speaking of which, Archos says the GamePad is destined for U.S. shores in the first quarter of 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."
There are 14 physical buttons and dual analog thumbsticks on the GamePad. It has a 7-inch screen with five points of capacitive touch, 16 million colors, and a 1024x600 resolution. The GamePad is just 0.3 inches thin and weighs 0.7 pounds, so it's not likely to make your hands or arms tired after extended gaming sessions.
Other hardware consists of a 1.6GHz dual-core CPU, quad-core Mali 400 MP GPU, 8GB of internal storage, microSD card slot, and mini HDMI output.