The ARCHOS GamePad. The First ICS Android Handheld Gaming Console, without the Phone…

New Android gaming hardware seems to appear every week. ARCHOS, legendary media device and tablet designers also have a new gaming device to introduce the world to, The Android GamePad. Finally delivering real game controls to Android tablet based devices. ARCHOS set out to simply provide better gaming controls to Android and along the way produced the first Android based handheld gaming console.

With the gaming control standards present, dual analogue sticks, dual 4 way pads and a plethora of function buttons, Android gaming is coming of age.

“When Android 4.0, Ice Cream Sandwich, was first released they included game controller support within the framework and that is when we decided to build the GamePad,” says Henri Crohas, ARCHOS Founder and CEO.

Internally the GamePad’s hardware includes a dual core CPU, quad core GPU along with 7 inch capacitive touch screen display. Putting the GamePad a generation behind the latest smartphones. Although the hardware is about what you would expect for a mid-range Android tablet.

Archos Gamepad

Ensuring compatibility with all the latest big name Android games ARCHOS has introduced game mapping and recognition software that automatically recognizes over a thousand games. “Thanks to the mapping and automatic game recognition systems included on the GamePad, we already have over a thousand android games compatible with the ARCHOS GamePad’s physical controls, including back catalogue titles that originally didn’t include physical controls,” Crohas.

Full access to Google Play (thanks to ICS 4) is provided giving instant access to thousands of games in the Google library , everything from freebies and budget titles to commercial games. Being a standard Android tablet under its gaming skin all of the normal apps are available. Not only bringing proper gaming controls to Android gaming but bringing Facebook and Email to handheld consoles.

Android gaming should have the big 3 consoles makers quaking in their boots. Gaming is about to go through similar changes to the music industry during the MP3 revolution.

A $200 USD 7 inch gaming tablet ready to compete with the PSP and Nintendo’s 3DS, or $200 7 inch tablet with gaming controls, either way you look at it the ARCHOS is simply the first in a new generation and a good idea.

Reference: ARCHOS