Archos announces Android powered GamePad

New 7-inch gaming tablet to take on Sony's PS Vita?

Archos is getting into the handheld gaming market after announcing the 7-inch Android-powered GamePad at IFA 2012

The new device will feature physical buttons and analogue sticks alongside the 7-inch capacitive screen, setting it aside from other tablets and putting it toe-to-toe with the Sony PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS XL.

As a Google certified device, the Archos GamePad will have access to the entire Google Play store, giving it a gaming catalogue that dwarfs the PS Vita and Nintendo 3DS – even with Sony announcing the PSOne back catalogue for the PS Vita.

The Archos GamePad will pack in a 1.5GHz processor backed by a Mali 400mp quad-core GPU for handling advanced 3D graphics.

"Until now, tablets provided gamers with touch controls that lacked response and compatibility, providing a disappointing gaming experience,” says Archos.

“As one of the main tablet uses, there is a strong need for a tablet that does more for gaming.”

After the disappointment of the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play, an Android gaming device done right could be a big seller. Archos has said the GamePad will automatically map touchscreen controls for games onto the physical keys of the handheld.

According to the French company, the GamePad will launch for less than £130 – making it a much cheaper option than Sony’s big-hitting PS Vita and a potential draw for Android fans looking for a more gaming-focused experience.

The Archos GamePad is due out at the end of October.