Just a few short months after launching its $169 Android-based gaming handheld in the United States, Archos has announced a new and improved version, the GamePad 2, set to launch this winter. Building upon the concept and design of the original, the Archos GamePad 2 features a higher resolution 1280x800 7" IPS display (up from the original's 1024x600 screen) and replaces the dual-core cortex A9 chip with a more powerful quad-core variant with double the RAM. Most importantly, Archos has made improvements to the device's integrated controls, with larger, more ergonomic thumbsticks, a tweaked d-pad, action buttons, and shoulder buttons - one of our biggest grips during our hands-on at CES 2013.
The GamePad 2 ships with Android 4.2 "Jelly Bean" and is compatible with a large array of games with controller support, including Asphalt 8: Airborne and Modern Combat 4: Zero Hour, which come pre-installed. Games without controller support can also be played on the GamePad 2 using Archos button mapping tool that allows players to associate any on-screen command with any button.
The GamePad 2 will ship in the U.S. in Q4 for $199.99.
Scott Lowe is IGN's resident tech expert and first-person shooter fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter at @ScottLowe and on MyIGN at Scott-IGN.