The first Wikipad gaming tablet took center stage at the GameStop EXPO in the San Antonio Convention Center. The first Tegra 3 tablet specifically designed for gaming, thanks in part to its unique slide-on gaming controller, was shown to GameStop executives, managers and the general public over the course of a few days. James Bower, CEO of Wikipad, talks about what mobile gamers can expect with the launch of this new tablet in this exclusive interview.
When will people be able to get their hands on Wikipad?
Some of our retail partners, like GameStop, are beginning pre-sales now. And the delivery date is going to be October 31. The price point is going to be $499.
What will Wikipad offer to gamers?
The Wikipad tablet is one of the thinnest, lightest, fastest tablets on the market. It runs on Android Jelly Bean and has a 10.1 inch IPS screen. The resolution is 1280 by 800 and it’s a fantastic tablet. It does everything your tablet would normally do, but what we’ve also done is added into the bundle an attachable game controller. This has all of the buttons and the joysticks that you would normally expect from a game pad. It allows you to not only play the Android games that are calibrated for game pad control, but it will also play Sony PlayStation Mobile games that are coming out, as well as other streaming games that will be coming to the market.
How have you worked with NVIDIA to incorporate Tegra 3 into this gaming tablet?
We’ve been working with NVIDIA for some time. They’ve been a fantastic partner to work with. There are some distinct advantages when it comes to gameplay for the Tegra 3 processor. The graphics are fantastic. It’s very fast and intuitive and it allows us to play a lot more content than some of the other processors that are out there. The Sony Playstation Mobile platform is already pre-calibrated to be able to play on the Tegra platform, which is a great advantage for using Tegra.
What games will be available for this device?
We haven’t made any of the game announcements yet. They’re forthcoming. Some of these are coming from Sony. Some are coming from the publishers themselves, but there’s going to be a lot of really good content at launch. We have a lot of exciting things coming around next year, as well.
How will the Gaikai service be integrated into Wikipad?
We have a relationship with Gaikai that we announced some time ago. The acquisition by Sony has come about and they’re re-calibrating their plans internally. We’re not prepared to talk about any announcement regarding the launch of the new Sony Playstation Cloud yet, however, we have announced the Sony PlayStation Mobile initiative and we expect that more information will come out soon regarding that. Because it’s an Android tablet, it’s a very open tablet. It will have the ability to play games and content from other cloud streaming services, as well.
What do you think it is about Wikipad that will appeal to the hardcore gamers that come to GameStop?
We all have our mobile devices today. A lot of people are buying tablets. Wikipad is a fantastic tablet for doing all your normal work, but also it has the attachable game controller that allows you to have the same experience that you would have with the mobile gaming devices that are out there. It’s a device that serves as a bridge between the mobile game console and a traditional tablet. So you can not only work hard, but play hard.
What are your thoughts on NVIDIA’s road map for Tegra?
It’s great. We’re a new player in the game and we have this new Wikipad that the market seems to be very excited about. As we look to the future and the road map of our product, what NVIDIA is doing is fantastic. We’re seeing the processing power that’s starting to come about in mobile devices that we were only able to get on PC devices several years ago. So the strength of the power behind these mobile processors has really come a long way and we expect to see big things next year as well.
What has the reaction been at Gamestop Expo with all the managers and consumers who have been able to get their hands on it?
Really it’s been phenomenal. As we’ve been building this thing, everybody has been excited about it from the beginning. But this is one of the first times we’re starting to touch the consumer and touch the fantastic sales staff that’s going to be selling the product to the consumer. Frankly speaking, we’ve had a 100 percent positive response from the managers and everybody at Gamestop, as well as the consumers that have come here through the EXPO. We’re very excited and very bullish about the success of the Wikipad in the market.