Blah… I still don’t understand why companies launch products in some places but then not in others. It makes no sense to me really, I would think that would want to launch everywhere as they would make more money?! At least one would think, but then again I’ve learned many things in the tech business just don’t much sense at all. I don’t know why I keep even asking the question why anymore. Anyway, yes the new Archos Android Gamepad is available but only in Europe for right now, it’ll supposedly launch on the U.S. sometime early next year, specifically it says first quarter or 2013, so that could who knows when. I for one would like to get one myself as they do look kinda cool and fun. I like the idea of the integrated physical controls but yet still having a touchscreen tablet. I think it might do well here in the U.S.

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-ARCHOS, announces the retail availability of the highly anticipated GamePad, a new type of tablet that combines physical gaming button controls and an ARCHOS patented mapping tool with a full AndroidTM-powered tablet experience. Bringing physical buttons and analog thumb-sticks to mobile gaming, the ARCHOS GamePad blends power with unique mapping software that allows you to link the virtual controls of any game to physical controls. A thin and light Android 4.1 Jelly Bean device, the GamePad also features full access to Google PlayTM and Google Mobile Services and is now available in Europe for 149.99€ with a North American release scheduled for early Q1 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.”

By combining the GamePad’s 14 physical buttons and dual analog thumb-sticks with the revolutionary ARCHOS game mapping tool (exclusive to ARCHOS), the GamePad brings the physical aspect back to the gaming experience. Adding to the experience is the 16-million-color, seven-inch, five-point capacitive, 1024 x 600 pixel screen. At only 10 mm (0.3 inch) thin and with a weight of 330g (0.7 lbs), the ARCHOS GamePad is the perfect on-the-go gaming console.

REVOLUTIONARY MAPPING TOOL

Thanks to the revolutionary ARCHOS mapping tool, even back catalog games that weren’t made for physical controls can work with the physical controls of the ARCHOS GamePad; ‘map’ any on-screen virtual control to the physical controls of the GamePad for hundreds of games within the tool or use its drag-and-drop interface to ‘map’ any game in seconds.

Check out our YouTube video showing how easy it is to use: HOW TO MAP BUTTONS

The mapping profile for each game is automatically saved so whenever that game is launched in the future, the ARCHOS game-mapping tool will automatically load the corresponding mapping profile.

FEATURES & SPECS

Operating System: Google Certified Android 4.1 Jelly Bean

Smooth Gaming Experience with 3D Graphics: Quad-core Mali 400 MP GPU paired with a 1.6GHz Dual-core CPU.

Memory: 8GB of internal memory with microSD slot or up to 64GB of additional space.

Mini-HDMI: Use the mini-HDMI port to connect the GamePad to your TV for a big screen viewing experience.

Google PlayTM: 700,000 apps and games and includes DRM support for downloading books, magazines, music, movies and TV shows.

ARCHOS Media Center applications: Tailor-made apps for video and music that include metadata scraping, auto-subtitles and of course, the best format and codec support around including 1080p video decoding.

For more information about GamePad visit www.ARCHOS.com.