After a false start last year, the Wikipad is finally on its way. Wikipad shelved an attempt to make a 10-inch version of the Android gaming tablet late in 2012, citing manufacturing problems.
But the company is now back with a seven-inch device, which should be hitting shelves in the UK on September 27th, with a retail price of £249.99.
The Wikipad packs powerful specs, with a Nvidia Tegra 3 quad-core processor, 1GB of RAM and an HD screen. It also has its own game controller add-on to allow you to add thumbsticks and triggers to mobile games, so it will appeal to those who want a more tactile gaming experience.
It makes many games easier to play than using a touchscreen alone, and there’s plenty of space to store everything you download, with 16GB of onboard storage and a microSD card slot.
That’s a lot of space – but there’s plenty on the market to fill it. You can download the apps from the Google Play store to your device, as well as trawling through the Nvidia Tegra Zone and the PlayStation Mobile store.
Straight out of the box, Wikipad includes a set of games including MadFinger’s Dead Trigger and ShadowGun: Dead Zone along with Distinctive Games Hockey Nations Tournament.
But there are some downsides to the new Wikipad. Critics have already pointed out that the 1280×800 screen is a lot grainer and with poorer colour reproduction than some of its rival tablets.
Wikipad also runs on older software than some competitors – using Android 4.1, while Google has brought its tablets up to speed with the latest edition of Jelly Bean. It’s also quite a bulky device, making it difficult to see that consumers would use it for gaming on the move.
That may mean, unless users are desperate for a game controller, they may opt for Google’s full HD Nexus 7, which is £50 cheaper than the new Wikipad.
Tech forum users have already spoken out about the price, even before they get their hands on the new Wikipad. One said: “These are outdated specs and it’s super overpriced,” while another added: “This thing is so dated.”
But games developers have already spoken about how they believe Wikipad could bring whole new dimension to their titles. Tomas Slapota, vice president of MadFinger Games, said: “Using Wikipad’s dual-analogue gamepad controller transforms our mobile games such as the multiplayer Shadowgun: Deadzone and the action FPS Dead Trigger into entertaining AAA console-like experiences.”
And Wikipad sales president Fraser Townley has described the UK launch as a “significant milestone” for the gizmo, adding: “It represents the growth of the Wikipad’s fanbase beyond the US and outwards to the millions of gamers who love to play games on their mobiles, but are looking for a better experience than other tablets can give them.”
He said retail partners in the UK were excited to be able to offer “a real alternative for consumers and gamers who want the power of a premium Android tablet, combined with the superior experience of a dedicated gaming device.”