French tablet maker Archos is preparing a new Android tablet aimed at gaming. Speaking to The New Ecomiste, the CEO of Archos said he sees traditional game consoles going away, with tablets taking their place.
That doesn’t necessarily mean he envisions a future where all games are played on touchscreens — hardcore gamers will tell you how much fun that isn’t. But as tablets get more and more powerful, it’s not hard to imagine that Archos could be on to something.
A few years ago I remember standing in a hotel suite with Archos while they showed off their Gen8 tablets. They seem pretty outdated today, but those tablets already had support for HDMI output, letting you play your Android games on a big screen TV.
Google recently added support for PlayStation, Xbox, and other Bluetooth controllers to the Android software stack. So even if you don’t want to tap and swipe your way through the latest first-person shooter on a 10 inch screen, there’s no reason you couldn’t connect an HDTV and a game controller and play Shadowgun on the big screen.
Some of the best games for Android and iOS today are already starting to look like console-quality titles… but they’re in the minority. As faster multi-core chips with higher performance graphics hit the streets we could see more high quality games of that caliber though. After all, the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Nintendo Wii are all ancient devices compared with the latest Android phones and tablets.
Unfortunately there aren’t any details about the new Archos game console-style tablet other than the fact that Archos is working on one.
They’re hardly alone. We’ve seen tablets from Sony with an emphasis on gaming and support for classic PlayStation One titles, as well as some Chinese tablets with built-in game controllers. But Archos devices tend to be cheaper than Sony products and a little more reliable than no-name Chinese tablets.
Archos also recently unveiled plans for a new line of mid-range tablets under the Archos elements name and a line of premium Archos Gen10 tablets.