Folowing its June launch in the US, it has been announced that the Wikipad tablet will be available in the UK on September 27th.
Retailing for £250, the Wikipad offers a unique “console quality” Android tablet, with a usb-mounted detachable dual-analog controller set up, effectively morphing the unit from (expensive) tablet, to (expensive) WiiU style portable gamepad.
The tablet comes with 16GB of space, upgradable via MicroSD, and has all the expected features of a premium tablet – 7″ multi-capacitive touchscreen, front-facing camera (at a rather underwhelming 2MP), GPS, accelerometer, gyroscope and HDMI out. At its core sits a NVIDIA Tegra 3 quad-core mobile processor, “optimised for Cloud gaming” with a 12 core NVIDIA GPU capable of pushing 3D output – via HDMI – to compatible TV sets.
At launch, UK consumers will be granted instant access to the complete Google Play & PlayStation Mobile stores, as well as being able to pick up selected ‘optimised’ content from TegraZone – NVIDIA’s own marketplace app.
SCEA’s Ronald Schaffner has said the company are “excited to bring PlayStation Mobile to the Wikipad” as it provides “a portable gaming experience that’s fun and compelling,” whilst Tomas Slapota, Vice President of Madfinger Games, has been quoted as saying “Wikipad’s dual-analog gamepad controller transforms our mobile games, into entertaining AAA console-like experiences.”
Someone should probably remind Schaffner and Slapota that the experience they’re after is already available elsewhere, on Sony’s very own PlayStation Vita.
Exact UK retail partners haven’t yet been announced, and GAME have told me they have “no current plans to stock this product”. The tablet is available via Amazon in the US, so that is looking like an option over here.
From a personal standpoint, I’d imagine that whilst it may well be able to deliver great content, the Wikipad’s design and weight – at more than double that of a Vita – coupled with Android’s questionable battery life, will scupper any chances this tablet has before it even gets off the ground.