Apr 2, 2013
Calm down, internet. After delays caused some people to threaten the team at Wikipad with death for not getting their gaming tablet out on time, they finally showcased the final production version of the gaming tablet at GDC 2013 last week.
The tablet portion of the Wikipad is essentially the same as a Nexus 7. It has a Tegra 3 processor, 1 GB of RAM, and an 1280×800 IPS screen. However, there’s a few feature checklist improvements: a higher-resolution camera that’s oriented to be in the top center of landscape orientation, an expandable microSD slot, and an HDMI output for playing games on the TV. These are all located on the top of the device when in landscape orientation, which is very important because this is designed as a gaming tablet, and because the all-important micro-USB slot for the controller attachemnt plugs in at the bottom.
Yes, the controller attachment is the really interesting part of this device, which brings the standard gaming layout of 4 face buttons and 4 shoulder buttons to something that attaches to the tablet itself through the bottom micro-USB port. The controller has a rubberized grip for comfort, and it doesn’t add much weight to the tablet, it’s still light, though it is definitely bulky, and the analog sticks felt very loose out of the box when playing Dead Trigger.
There’s an SDK for developers to use to implement Wikipad controls, but the controller also boasts HID support for games that don’t have the SDK specifically enabled. The team is promising to go with as open an approach as possible – games can be acquired from whatever marketplace the user desires, as there is no special Wikipad store. Well, not necessarily: the device will support PlayStation Mobile, meaning that games on Sony’s store (that are also available for devices like the PlayStation Vita) will be playable on there. However, not all titles have controller support yet, but Wikipad is in touch with Sony to try to get more titles supporting the controller. They’re also investigating mapping touchscreen input to the controller.
The 7″ tablet with controller will be available for $249, and is in production now with units shipping out to distributors very soon.