Archos is looking to take a piece of the Android gaming pie, at least in terms of hardware, and in the process will end up being the direct competitor of the Wikipad gaming tablet with Archos' newly announced GamePad tablet. This Ice Cream Sandwich powered tablet will feature a full set of gaming controls, attached to either side of the tablet.
Hardware-wise, this new tablet sports some decent specs, running a 1.5GHz dual-core processor and a quad-core Mali 400 MP GPU. Archos doesn't touch base on the other hardware specs that this tablet will come with but we can guess it will have at least 1GB of RAM, if Archos is smart it will have 2GB, and at least 16GB of storage. This is just us speculating though and Archos could end up putting in just the minimal hardware needed to run the CPU/GPU instead. This is a possibility considering the price tag they are looking to put on this tablet is only around $188 USD, cheaper than a Nexus 7.
While the 7" size of the GamePad is a bit more manageable than the 10.1" size of the WikiPad, it looks like the controls for the GamePad are fixed to the device while the WikiPad's controls are detachable, a point that could weight heavily in favor of the WikiPad. On the flip side of things though, the GamePad will be available before the WikiPad, with a release date set for sometime in October 2012 for the GamePad.
It should be interesting to see how well either of these tablets do in terms of sales. Also keep in mind that the WikiPad could very well be quad-core Tegra 3 and, on top of this all, we have the Sony Xperia tablet on the way which doesn't feature controls like these tablets do, but looks like it will be a contender in terms of gaming hardware. One last thing to note, Archos will stick with the Google Play store and not be open in terms of what market will be on it.