It seems like everyone is taking a stab at turning Android into a viable gaming platform. There's the Ouya console, the GameStick controller and now the 7-inch Wikipad gaming tablet. If you're getting déjà vu, you're not alone. The Wikipad was originally a 10-inch gaming tablet powered and was supposed to launch at the end of last October. But unlike other tablets, it came with a detachable controller shell that added dual analog sticks, a D-pad, ABXY buttons and a design that passively amplified the tablet's speakers.
Wikipad says the 10-inch tablet was delayed at the last minute from a flaw discovered in the pilot production run. By the time the kinks were ironed out, the company wasn't able to secure enough 10-inch screens, so they went with a 7-inch one instead. What it's packing now is a 7-inch IPS screen with a respectable 1280-by-800 resolution.
Internally, nothing has really changed in the Wikipad. It has a NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, 16GB of internal storage, 1GB of RAM, a microSD card slot (expandable up to an additional 32GB) and an estimated 8-hour battery life. The Wikipad runs Android 4.1 Jelly Bean and is compatible with games from Google Play, NVIDIA's TegraZone, Big Fish Games and Sony's PlayStation Mobile.
Even better now is that the Wikipad is more portable and presumably easier to hold because of its smaller form factor and costs half as much as it would have originally cost: $249 (7-inch) versus $499 (10-inch). In today's competitive Android tablet world competing with the iPad juggernaut at $500 just wouldn't make much sense; not when the best-selling Android tablets — Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD — start at $199.
“We wanted to get Wikipad into our community’s hands and what we found was that the smaller 7” form factor just seemed right,” states Fraser Townley, President of Sales, Wikipad, Inc. in a press release. “The smaller frame delivers an aggressive price while keeping the same amazing specs.”
The Wikipad is slated for a launch in the spring. No word on whether GameStop is still the exclusive partner for the Wikipad in the U.S., as it was originally with the 10-inch Wikipad. Speaking of the 10-inch, the company says it's still planning to release that one as well, but doesn't have any new details to share yet.