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Archos Gamepad Released In the USA 106

Posted by timothy
from the take-it-or-leave-it-or-use-it-as-a-shovel dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Archos have finally released their much anticipated touchscreen gamepad in the USA. The console boasts a Arm Cortex Dual-core A9 1.6GHz cpu, 1024MB Ram, 8GB internal storage and uses the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS. The Gamepad has 14 physical buttons and dual analog thumb-sticks as well as a touchscreen which means the latest 3D Android games should work great and for fans of emulation the traditional gamepad design and buttons will make N64/PS1 emulators work great on the gamepad." CNET UK was unimpressed, calling it "a bitter disappointment"; IGN was more optimistic, especially at its sub-$200 price.
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Archos Gamepad Released In the USA

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  • "much anticipated"? (Score:4, Informative)

    by master_kaos (1027308) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @04:50PM (#43265063)
    I mean I have never heard of it, and I have a lot of avid gamer friends and they never mentioned it.
    • I mean I have never heard of it, and I have a lot of avid gamer friends and they never mentioned it.

      As an Android gamer. I am actually looked forward to this device, its not alone http://www.droidgamers.com/index.php/tablet-gaming/hardware-and-devices/5498-wikipad-to-launch-7-gaming-tablet-for-250-instead-of-10-tablet [droidgamers.com] wikipad is another example. Although I suspect their will be a whole army of Android gaming devices. I've been using the Xperia Phone which had been an incredible device, although its been treated like an unloved stepchild by Sony [So will not be buying from them again].

    • Got one of these for Christmas for my nephew, direct from Archos and he loves it, He is a smart kid so he will take advantage of all it's features.

      I guess it's not going to be quite as cool as it was because it wasn't available in the shops yet.

      A good buy and more than just a toy.

  • by SuperKendall (25149) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @04:55PM (#43265097)

    It's an interesting idea, but inherently you are sacrificing on screen an component quality by bundling the gamepad with the device you are playing on (at least when the goal is a cheap device). It seems like you are much better off buying a top-quality Android or iPhone and then getting one of the third-party control solutions.

    It also seems like you'd gain a greater degree of compatibility that way.

    • It seems like you are much better off buying a top-quality Android or iPhone and then getting one of the third-party control solutions.

      I cannot disagree more. The reason why handheld consoles don't include separate controls...is its a stupid idea, but the suggestion that the pitiful screen sizes [albeit average resolution] of the iphone [its less true for large...and I mean note size android phones]can compete with this *larger* [if weaker DPI] tablet is laughable. Due to the failure of the iPhone in major gaming markets...its simply not a viable option for gamers, android will become the gaming platform of choice.There may be other probl

      • by immaterial (1520413) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @05:28PM (#43265273)

        I cannot disagree more. The reason why handheld consoles don't include separate controls...is its a stupid idea

        That was a convincing argument!

        , but the suggestion that the pitiful screen sizes [albeit average resolution] of the iphone [its less true for large...and I mean note size android phones]can compete with this *larger* [if weaker DPI] tablet is laughable.

        Portable gaming systems have used 3-5" screens for decades quite successfully. Not to mention that's not an argument against separate controls, it's an argument to use a Nexus or iPad Mini (or even a full-size tablet) rather than an iPhone/Android phone if you want a larger screen.

        Due to the failure of the iPhone in major gaming markets...

        What?

        but the price is amazing.

        The Archos Gamepad's pricing is definitely a plus, if you have to buy an entire device. But a lot of (most?) people now already have a portable Android or iOS device they use for other purposes; a set of attachable controls would give them the same abilities with a better screen for only $50-$100.

        • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

          by tuppe666 (904118)

          Portable gaming systems have used 3-5" screens for decades quite successfully.

          ...due to price

          Due to the failure of the iPhone in major gaming markets...

          What?

          Sorry the iPhone is an American\GB mainly in places like China Android outsells 25:1 with Apples Market dropping. It means that Apple simply will not the the posts, as Android continues to pick up market share, while Apple continues to throw away its for short term profitability.

          The Archos Gamepad's pricing is definitely a plus, if you have to buy an entire device. But a lot of (most?) people now already have a portable Android or iOS device they use for other purposes; a set of attachable controls would give them the same abilities with a better screen for only $50-$100.

          Most people definitely do not have a tablet, but the gaplet will appeal to those whose main use of a tablet is for *gaming* over *surfing* *reading* *videos*...or simply as a secondary device [the price make it

          • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

            by Threni (635302)

            > Sorry the iPhone is an American\GB mainly in places like China Android outsells
            > 25:1 with Apples Market dropping

            And in English?

            • http://www.techinasia.com/android-market-share-china-2012/ [techinasia.com] Is the graph easier. Apple simply is a none player in the largest smartphone [and gaming] market worldwide :)

            • by tepples (727027)

              I'll translate: "Sorry, the iPhone's popularity is mainly in the Americas and Great Britain. In places like China, Android outsells iPhone 25 to 1 with Apple's market share dropping."

              But Apple's popularity is still relevant for games developed by speakers of English for speakers of English, unless you have a bunch of money for translators and voice actors.

          • Portable gaming systems have used 3-5" screens for decades quite successfully.

            ...due to price

            Due primarily to portability. Being able to slip your portable game system into your pocket is a pretty big plus. However, even price-wise I already pointed out buying separate controls is cheaper for a lot of people who already have a phone or tablet.

            Sorry the iPhone is an American\GB mainly in places like China Android outsells 25:1 with Apples Market dropping. It means that Apple simply will not the the posts, as Android continues to pick up market share, while Apple continues to throw away its for short term profitability.

            You're definitely right here; Android is certainly winning the market in China (I'd point out that as far as game sales goes the Chinese market isn't all that big, but we're talking about hardware here so that's not very relevant). That said, this has no beari

            • A vita (playstation portable) or an DS *never* fitted in pocket, the playstation portable is 7" :). The fit in pocket myth something Apple users have to justify screen envy.

              Sorry but the whole point of this article is a [another] great new Android *gaming console* something I have Owned for the last year and half, and right now is currently experiencing massive growth, a more lucrative market than smartwatches or TV's in my opinion :)

              The truth is I would prefer a dedicated gaming device than a phone with a

              • A vita (playstation portable) or an DS *never* fitted in pocket,

                Sez you. I carry a 3DS in my shirt pocket whenever I wear a shirt that has a pocket. It fits fine.

                • I carry a 3DS in my shirt pocket whenever I wear a shirt that has a pocket. It fits fine.

                  Even the original gameboy was 6"...but your implying this "The 3DS weighs approximately 230 grams (8.1 oz) and, when closed, is 134 mm (5.3 in) wide, 74 mm (2.9 in) broad, and 21 mm (0.83 in)" fits in a pocket comfortably. I'm not going to waste any more time on this.

                  • Not only does my 3DS fit comfortably in my pocket, I can put a DSi XL in my pocket without any issues.

                    Granted, the DSi XL only fits in a front pants pocket, but my 3DS fits in a back pocket, or a shirt pocket.

                    How small are your pockets?

                    • by pspahn (1175617)

                      How small are your pockets?

                      ...and thus, the transfer of power over to China was complete. Lacking only the knowledge that, this entire time, they had simply been living with undersized pockets, the Chinese adapted by mandating all pants and shirt pockets, from the present going forward, must be large enough to accommodate not only one's hands during inclement weather, but also one's phone, key sets, spare coins, a snack for later, and some item the Ms. wants you to hold while you go for a walk together.

                      With their new found power, th

                  • Just for shits and giggles, I took a ruler to my pockets. My front pockets are 11" deep by 6 inches wide. My thigh pockets are 8" by 8" (this is where I'd probably care a 3DS, were I to carry one), hell, the cell phone pocket is 5.5"x2.6" with a 1" accordion...that might be a little tight, but is probably doable. My shirt pocket is 5" by 6"...should easily fit, though I wouldn't carry it there, because it would ruin the lay of the shirt.

                    Now, granted, most people don't wear pants with thigh pockets and ce
              • by tlhIngan (30335)

                A vita (playstation portable) or an DS *never* fitted in pocket, the playstation portable is 7" :). The fit in pocket myth something Apple users have to justify screen envy.

                No, the purpose for limiting screen sizes on the iPhone is it's too (*#&@%^ hard to use a 5" screen single-handledly. If you're looking up some information on your phone while your other hand is busy (holding a cup of coffee, an umbrella, your shopping, whatever), being able to reach the entire screen with your thumb might be useful.

                • by eharvill (991859)

                  A vita (playstation portable) or an DS *never* fitted in pocket, the playstation portable is 7" :). The fit in pocket myth something Apple users have to justify screen envy.

                  No, the purpose for limiting screen sizes on the iPhone is it's too (*#&@%^ hard to use a 5" screen single-handledly. If you're looking up some information on your phone while your other hand is busy (holding a cup of coffee, an umbrella, your shopping, whatever), being able to reach the entire screen with your thumb might be useful. Perhaps to look up directions or whatever. Or to send a quick text.

                  This is absolutely true. I took this for granted when I picked up a Galaxy S3 for my personal phone. My work issued phone is an iPhone 4s and I find I use it much more often simply because its size. I prefer Android over IOS, but the S3 rarely get used unless I am at my desk or sitting on my couch for example. When I'm on the go (which seems more often than not) I am using the iPhone. My next Droid will be more of a "single-handed" form factor.

        • Due to the failure of the iPhone in major gaming markets...

          What?

          I tried using a phone to play video games in traditionally controller-based genres, such as platformers, falling block games, and fighting games. The controls weren't quite as precise as decades-old NES controls because my thumbs couldn't feel whether they were centered over the on-screen buttons. How do the most successful iPhone games simulate a gamepad with more than one button?

        • I've got a sony compatible controller which I could use with my 10 inch tablet but kind of pointless unless i bother to connect the hdmi out to a TV. I've not seen any kind of external controls that attach to a tablet yet. Archos have included a mapping option to change onscreen controls to physical buttons that in itself is an advantage over some other tablets.

          It can only help Gaming on Android to have the physical controls available. It could be a replacement for the venerable psp.

      • The reason why handheld consoles don't include separate controls

        "Real" dedicated handheld devices do not have a primary goal of lowest cost, and are also heavily subsidized with the expectation of royalties from game sales. This device gets no royalties, all costs are baked in. So the 3DS for example is not nearly as cheap a device as the sales price makes it seem. this gamepad is exactly as cheap as the price makes it seem - it has a lower quality screen and more sluggish processor than a good Android p

        • Do you really want to live in a world where one platform wins?

          ...that is built from open source software [the kernel], using open standards, on predominantly open hardware, used on a massive range of hardware ranging from phones/tablets with extra electronic paper/lcd screen, has stylus/gamepad for input, some even include projector. So yeah...pretty happy, hopefully the proprietary hardware/software/standards that the old abusing monopolies like Apple/Microsoft will be gone one day.

          Its a massive step up from the nightmare duopoly that stagnated the PC market.

          • ...that is built from open source software [the kernel], using open standards, on predominantly open hardware

            Wow, Bullshit is the new Nazi! I declare Bullshit Goodwin.

            Since you can't think rationally, good luck having the future surprise the hell out of you.

    • by Nemyst (1383049)
      Integrated controller usually means a lot less clutter. For something that's supposed to be portable, that's a huge selling point. I could take my phone and use a Sixaxis controller with it, but that's bulky. I've not heard of a smaller controller designed for it, and most that I have seen are fairly limited, going for the "retro" gaming style with few buttons and no analog sticks.

      With an integrated controller, you're looking at something that competes with portable game consoles like the 3DS or PS Vita.
  • So far the JXD S7300 is cheaper and has been getting better reviews, aside from a few hardware faults with the controls and poor soldering jobs.
    http://www.jxd.hk/products.asp?id=627&selectclassid=009006 [www.jxd.hk]

    Cheaper too. And these chinese tabs tend to get lots of good community support.
  • by Nyder (754090) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @05:06PM (#43265143) Journal

    While I understand using the word pad, since it's been another name for tablets, the word "gamepad" has meant video game controllers for over 2 decades.

    This is a hand held video game console. Sure, that's a lot of words to describe 1 object, and could use 1 word, but the word "gamepad" is already taken by a gaming device. Will this cause confusion? I think so, I thought at first it was a game controller with a touch pad on it, not a screen.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Oh, so this isn't sort of like the Wii U controller then. I thought that this was sort of like that controller Nintendo had made, so, yes, this is definitely confusing as I was expecting something that could be hooked up to a PC or console.

    • And 'tablet' meant a clay slab you carved writing into at one point. Words and their definitions are fluid. The term 'gamepad' for a tablet device geared towards gaming is perfectly logical.

      • Your analogy fails because multiple meanings are not confusing when they're used in different contexts. So clearly tablet means a block of clay if we're talking about ancient Sumeria, and if we aren't it probably doesn't. The problem with the two uses of gamepad is that they're used in the same context.

    • Another confusing one is to use "mousepad" for "touchpad", while at the same time "mousepad" means the pad under a desktop mouse.
  • by Lumpy (12016)

    If the games dont support the extra hardware it's a waste. a Nexus 7 works as very nice "game pad" already.

    • by Servaas (1050156)

      If you honestly like games you can never compare physical buttons to a touchscreen.

    • If the games dont support the extra hardware it's a waste. a Nexus 7 works as very nice "game pad" already.

      It comes with a utility to *remap* to keys, which comes with games already done. The xperia play a device that has been out since 1st April 2011 already has significant support for its joypad, expanding support these should be trivial for any programmer.

      Gamepads are *great* for 1-touch platforms, and RTS, Tower Defence, Simple puzzle games, but suck incredibly badly at anything else. I bought an Xperia Play, and *always* use the gamepad if its supported [in reality I choose games that support it]. As a game

      • Gamepads are *great* for 1-touch platforms, and RTS, Tower Defence, Simple puzzle games, but suck incredibly badly at anything else

        The impression I get from comments to previous stories about phones vs. dedicated handheld video game systems that is that mobile game developers should stick to developing "1-touch platforms, and RTS, Tower Defence, Simple puzzle games" if they want any market, especially before they're big enough to qualify to develop for the PlayStation Vita or Nintendo 3DS.

        I bought an Xperia Play

        How many other people did? If there are few Xperia Play and Archos GamePad units in circulation, it isn't profitable to develop a game with Xperia Pl

        • If there are few Xperia Play and Archos GamePad units in circulation, it isn't profitable to develop a game with Xperia Play and Archos GamePad as the primary targets and treat the majority of phones, which would require on-screen buttons, as an afterthought.

          Except developer *aren't* developing with one platform in mind [its simply poor business]...and I'm not talking indie games, I am talking electronic arts. Humble Bundle are up to their 5th Android [and windows/Mac/Linux] gaming bundle...

          ...here is the games http://blog.humblebundle.com/post/44641397764/humble-bundle-with-android-5-has-landed [humblebundle.com] with the exception of solar 2 are any of those games more suitable played on a screen.

    • by BitZtream (692029)

      Games don't have to support the hardware. The physical buttons can be configured so apps see the physical buttons as on screen touch input. It works with most games already though its probably not useful for something like fruit ninja which doesn't use fixed position onscreen controls

  • At $200 bucks (Score:4, Informative)

    by rsilvergun (571051) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @05:37PM (#43265327)
    why wouldn't I just get a Vita? There are some neat looking Android games, but nothing that approaches a killer app. The Vita at least has Sony backing. Then there's the 3DS too.
    • by tuppe666 (904118) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @05:53PM (#43265427)

      why wouldn't I just get a Vita? There are some neat looking Android games, but nothing that approaches a killer app. The Vita at least has Sony backing. Then there's the 3DS too.

      ...with a bigger screen, standard micro sd cards [up to 64bg], Games at a 30th of their cost, Use it with your Android Play account, and do all the other exciting things you can so with Android.

      • by crossmr (957846)

        Like not play games?
        It doesn't matter if the screen is the size of a fucking wall if there are no real decent games to play with it.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          Emulators, tough boy, emulators.

      • The Vita at least has Sony backing.

        This is exactly why I would prefer this device over a Vita.

    • by nbuet (944469)

      why wouldn't I just get a Vita?

      ... what about because vita games are 25-50USD a piece, while android are free to 10USD?

    • Developers (Score:2, Redundant)

      by tepples (727027)

      why wouldn't I just get a Vita [or] 3DS

      Sony or Nintendo require developers to meet certain for industry experience, financial stability, and office security before allowing developers onto their handheld video game systems. A lot of indie developers don't qualify, especially amateurs and startups. Remember Bob's Game?

      • by Tr3vin (1220548)
        There are a lot of indies developing for the 3DS. Bob was an idiot for thinking that working on hacked systems for a few years would somehow get past Nintendo. They have even started to loosen some of the restrictions, such as office security.
        • by tepples (727027)

          Bob was an idiot for thinking that working on hacked systems for a few years would somehow get past Nintendo.

          So what should he have done instead to demonstrate "game industry experience" for Pelloni Entertainment? Would having prototyped the game fully on a PC count?

          They have even started to loosen some of the restrictions, such as office security.

          Thanks for pointing out the change to the Apply page [warioworld.com], which no longer mentions "home office" or "residence", just that it is "lockable".

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      emulators.

      that's why cnet gave it bad points, they deliberately ignored that they exist, because they're cnet.

  • Really? 2nd time I've heard of it. Slashdot editors allow marketing hyperbole in links now?

  • by Dan East (318230) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @06:08PM (#43265503) Homepage Journal

    I don't have one, but basically summarizing from the CNET review, the problems are the exact same problems I see with any cheap, no-name tablet:

    * Poor display (very limited viewing angle, washed out colors).
    * Poor battery life (2 hours gaming, 4 hours watching video, 8 hours on standby doing nothing at all).
    * Poorly designed physical controls. D-Pad consisting of 4 individual buttons was the worst the reviewer had ever seen on any gaming device. Analog sticks are stiff.

    The battery and the display are what sets apart the premium devices from the cheap ones, and that's how they get the price down. This device appears to be no exception.

    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      * Poorly designed physical controls. D-Pad consisting of 4 individual buttons was the worst the reviewer had ever seen on any gaming device. Analog sticks are stiff.

      I own an Xperia Play, which was the first Android phone specifically designed for gaming. The ergonomics are shit. When I looked at the picture of this Archos tablet I thought HAND CRAMPS. And THAT, friends, is why gaming handhelds suck. It makes much more sense to have a slider keyboard if anything, and have the gamepad hold up the tablet/MID/phone, because then you can get decent ergonomics.

      There's no point to a dedicated gaming device that it hurts to play games on! If I'd paid full price for my phone in

      • Some Archos tablet users connect and map an XBox USB controller, which is said to work well.
  • by SternisheFan (2529412) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @06:20PM (#43265579)
    ired.Wired gave this an 8/10 star rating, not too shabby... http://www.wired.com/reviews/2013/03/archos-gamepad/ [wired.com]

    Archos / Arnova devices also enjoy a great online community with lots of modding at www.Arctablet.com . I own the $100 Arnova 7G3 tablet, damn nice little tablet with ICS, hdmi out, usb support and decent battery. Keep in mind that these aren't $700 tablets, and all of todays high end tablets are going to be outdated in a year or two.

  • does anyone make a case for any (most likely, very specific) phones, that adds controller features either through bluetooth or said phone's data port? seems like there should be.
    • by tepples (727027)

      does anyone make a case for any (most likely, very specific) phones, that adds controller features either through bluetooth or said phone's data port?

      There used to be something called the iControlPad, a Bluetooth game controller that clips onto a standard smartphone.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    CNET is the very definition of a 'bent' site. For this gaming device, the morons at CNET attacked the 1024x600 resolution, showing just how hard they were trying to trash the device. For gaming, given the relatively weak power of current Android GPUs, the last thing you want is 'retina' resolutions.

    But Archos. Well here's the thing. Archos release new models on a VERY regular basis, meaning that old models frequently turn up at 'bargain' prices. So, people show a lot of potential interest in forums, and man

    • by tepples (727027)

      Why would you buy Archos over the best of the current Chinese no-brands?

      Some parents of kids who might want a handheld gaming device might choose whatever is sold in a local brick and mortar electronics retailer. I haven't seen JXD products in Best Buy, but I have occasionally seen Archos products.

  • by TheRecklessWanderer (929556) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @08:24PM (#43266325) Journal
    I said it before, and i'll say it again. Archos products in general are good except for one thing, and that one thing always makes them bad. Trying to get support from them is like pulling teeth. I owned an archos pad for 6 months, and i had to replace it twice. Well, i should say it broke three times. the 3rd time i just threw it in the garbage and bought something else.
  • The Amazon page for this device says it has two CPUs (it has one quad-core CPU) and it runs (!) Windows Mobile. It also fails to mention that it can take up to 64gb micro sdxc (though that comes up in the reviews).
  • by bobjr94 (1120555) on Sunday March 24, 2013 @11:52PM (#43267387) Homepage
    Ive have a JXD S7100 (2.3, single core 7" with Dpads, stick and buttons) and a newer S7300 (4.1, dual core, analog stick, more buttons) and specs are pretty much inline with this tablet. Problem being very few games work with any hardware controls, they use sloppy and inaccurate virtual touch controls. The 7300 does have a remapping app built in, to use the hardware controls on a touch screen game, but only works on some games. Until the app makers spend a bit more effort and give options for hardware controllers, android gaming will not take off, besides fairly casual games.
  • Today, CNET gave a poor review to a computing system that runs an OS not written by Microsoft. Film at 11.

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