ARCHOS has announced the price and release date of its new GamePad device that brings physical controls to Android gaming. That price is €149.99 (US$196) and that release date is now – provided you live in Europe. Mobile gamers in North America will need to wait until early 2013.

As revealed in August, the ARCHOS GamePad boasts a 7-inch 1024 x 600 pixel display and is powered by a quad-core Mali 400 MP GPU paired with a 1.6 GHz dual-core CPU. There’s 8 GB of internal memory, with a microSD slot to provide up to 64 GB of additional space. The device runs Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean).

While the display is a five point capacitive touchscreen, the GamePad features dual analog thumb-sticks, two shoulder buttons and 12 facial buttons. The device comes loaded with control profiles for the most popular games, but any game’s virtual controls can be mapped to the physical buttons using the ARCHOS Game Mapping Tool.

Although the device is focused on games, it also functions as a tablet with the ability to process 1080p video and full access to Google Play.

The device itself is a svelte 10 mm thick and weighs 330 g (0.7 lb). It also sports front-facing stereo speakers and a mini-HDMI port for outputting video to a bigger display. A 3.5 mm audio jack, USB port and volume rocker sit alongside the mini-HDMI port on the top side of the device.

The ARCHOS GamePad is available now in Europe for €149.99 (US$196), with a North American release set for early in the first quarter of 2013.

Video of the ARCHOS Game Mapping Tool can be viewed below.

Source: ARCHOS