Archos has just announced a new Android-powered device that was designed with Android gamers in mind.
The GamePad delivers as its name describes, offering dedicated game controls to replace the on-screen controls that most Android gamers struggle with. These controls include a four-way directional pad, four action keys (ABXY) and two analog control sticks. It also has a 720p resolution, 7-inch touchscreen, which some gamers will no doubt prefer for some titles (Fruit Ninja comes to mind).
Under the hood, Archos has a dual-core 1.5GHz processor and a Mali 400MP graphics processor — similar to the GPU used in the Galaxy S III. Impressively, Archos also believes that it has over 1000 existing Android gaming titles ready to play on the GamePad. To achieve this, Archos takes advantage of the new game controller APIs available to Android OEMs after the release of Ice Cream Sandwich. For games that this doesn't cover, Archos has developed software that automatically detects the control scheme of a game, and maps it to the unit's physical controls.
Archos has priced the GamePad at €150, or a little under AU$200, and expects to start shipping units in October. It's hard to say whether we'll see a wide release in Australia, but it should be available to import at around the same time.