Archos unveils Android gaming tablet

Archos has introduced a new Android-powered tablet designed specifically for gamers.

It looks more like a portable game console than an iPad, with joysticks and action buttons and a form factor that is amenable to gamers holding it comfortably with both hands without it being too bulky.

In a statement, Archos CEO Henri Crohas said that the GamePad idea was born when Google launched Ice Cream Sandwich, version 4.0 of Android which enabled support for a game controller interface.

Android hasn’t garnered the excitement within the gaming landscape that the iPhone and iPad have, but that is starting to change albeit in an unconventional way. That is to say, rather than a lot of people playing games on their Android phones or tablets, other devices are using the Android core to power game-specific gadgets.

The best example of that is the Ouya, a $99 game console that will offer a whole bunch of cloud-based gaming content and even though the games aren’t coming from the Google Play Store, the experience will be powered by Android. Now, Archos is trying to break into a similar mold but on a portable scale.

“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 catalog titles that originally didn’t include physical controls,” said Crohas.

The Archos GamePad will launch in October 2012, for less than $300.