GameStop said on Friday that the Android-powered Wikipad gaming tablet will be available on October 31 through its stores and website at a retail price of $499 USD.
Slated as the world's first tablet with an attachable console-quality gamepad controller, the Wikipad will arrive next month with a full suite of games delivered by the latest video game platforms, including PlayStation Mobile, Nvidia's Tegra Zone, Google Play, Gaikai as well as several upcoming unannounced platforms (probably OnLive).
"GameStop is the retail destination when it comes to video games. Nobody but GameStop provides gamers with the best gaming content on the market. And for those that purchase or pre-order a Wikipad at GameStop, their tablet will have access to valuable extras including exclusive free, full-length game titles. The Wikipad is powered by an Nvidia Tegra 3 processor and will support PlayStation Mobile platform," said Fraser Townley, President of Sales for Wikipad, Inc.
Back in August, Wikipad announced that Sony was bringing the long-awaited PlayStation Suite – now called PlayStation Mobile – to the dedicated gaming tablet. Sony's platform will offer content on the Wikipad developed by award-winning SCE Worldwide Studios as well as a vast array of third party developers and publishers. Currently there's a long list of PlayStation Mobile games like Grandia, MediEvil, Crash Bandicoot and A Bug's Life, but none of them have a North American release date.
Without the add-on controller, the Wikipad hardware is similar to what Google offers on the Nexus 7: Nvidia's Tegra 3 quad-core SoC clocked at 1.4 GHz, 1 GB of DDR2 RAM, at least 16 GB of storage, and Android 4.1 "Jelly Bean." Other components include a 10.1-inch IPS display with a 1280 x 800 resolution, an 8MP camera on the back, a 2MP camera on the front, and a six-hour battery. It supposedly weighs 1.2 pounds, making it a little heavy for portable gaming.
Question is: will it sell? That remains to be seen. The only manufacturers successful at selling tablets of this size at that price have been Apple and Samsung, both the leader in their respective tablet arenas. Asus has been somewhat successful with its Transformer line, but the Android tablet sector didn't really explode until Amazon introduced the 7-inch Kindle Fire for $199 last year. That said, gamers wanting premium mobile games may lean more towards the less-expensive Nintendo 3DS and Sony's own PlayStation Vita.
Still, there may indeed be a market for the Wikipad tablet, and GameStop will likely do what it can to make sure there is a market for such a device, starting next month. "We are thrilled to be partnering with Wikipad to launch this unique new gaming tablet," said Joe Gorman, vice president of GameStop's mobile business unit. "We love the innovation and know our customers are excited to see it in action."
Customers can pre-order the Wikipad now at GameStop stores nationwide or online at www.GameStop.com. Wikipads pre-ordered at GameStop will come with value-added extras including full-length titles and an issue of Game Informer Digital.