Don’t let it’s name fool you: The Wikipad isn’t some kind of crowd-sourced, questionably accurate encyclopedia for academics and Ivory Tower denizens. Quite the opposite, actually. The Wikipad seeks to better meld gaming and tablets, with its most striking feature being a detachable controller that recalls that of the Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 gamepad.
It’s got some horsepower, too. The device boasts a 1.4 GHz Nvidia Tegra 3 T30S quad-core CPU processor, with 16GB of internal memory (and a micro SD slot to fit 32GB more). On it’s 10.1” 1080p-capable touchscreen, gamers will have access to the Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean) OS. And it weighs 1.23 lbs.
At $499, the Wikipad won’t come cheap. Wondering whether it will justify the cost? GamesRadar caught up with company president Fraser Townley to learn more about the device.
GR: Who is your competitor at this point, the iPad or the PS Vita/3DS?
FT: The Vita and 3DS you mention there are very, very strong brands that have deep pockets. Clearly they are competitors of ours. But are we attacking them, competing with them? That’s an interesting question. We are a tablet and we have a detachable game console accessory that comes in the box. It’s not something you have to go buy seperately. Its all in one package. It’s a hybrid that isn’t seen out there, and there’s nothing that competes directly to the product.
GR: Do you think it’s a tablet first then gaming device, or gaming device first then tablet?
FT: I think that’s up to the consumer to decide. We’re agnostic about the programs that are on here. We’re agnostic about the games that are on here. And we’re agnostic as to whether it’s a game console with a tablet or a tablet with a game console. We’re appealing to a whole range of people out there. There’s quite a few different types of people that will be attracted to this product.
GR: The cost is $499, which is more in line with a tablet. Do you think that’s an issue, when you’re trying to sell this to gamers and they’re used to seeing $300 for the Vita and $180 for the 3DS?
FT: The thing about the Vita is it’s a much smaller screen size for the gaming experience. I don’t want to knock Sony, because they’re our partners, but if you look at what the Vita offers, it doesn’t offer any tablet usability, it’s not something people can take to an office and, say “Let me just pull out my vita and take notes.” It’s not a workhorse for the complete day. This product is a solution for all facets of your day.
GR: Do you think there’s a future for dedicated gaming devices?
FT: I think if you look at all consumer electronics products, the day of the single-use product is reaching an end. If you look at Blu-ray Players, Blu-ray players now do other things, they connect you to the internet. TVs are no longer just static TVs, they’re also smart TVs. There are very few products now that are very, very niche, specific products, and that could be an indication of the sales of these other products.
The future of gaming on tablets?
The Wikipad is slated to arrive October 31. About time that a tablet got a game controller? Think this will revolutionize games on tablets? Does $499 sound worth it to you? Speak your mind in the comments!
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