Gaming tablet Wikipad is finally set to hit store shelves

Wikipad Inc. announced its 7-inch gaming tablet, the Wikipad 7, will finally hit store shelves on Tuesday, June 11, for $249 in the U.S. The tablet is expected to be released worldwide later this summer.

The video game-centric tablet has had a long, winding, journey on its way to actually being released. The gaming tablet was first announced as a 10.1-inch tablet, a device which was featured at last year's Consumer's Electronic Show. Then the tablet claimed to support both Gaikai and PlayStation Cloud gaming store support.

Neither of those potential features were mentioned in today's press release, though they could still be in the works.

But a 10-inch version with extra gaming support may not matter in the end. Veteran game journalist and VentureBeat's resident game reporter, Dan Hsu, said the attachable controller the tablet comes with feels cheap and bulky, distracting from a better designed tablet.

Additionally, the PlayStation Vita - a powerful mobile gaming device with a larger gaming library - is priced competitively with the Wikipad 7. That could make the gaming tablet a hard sell to hardcore gamers, even if the tablet has respectable specs to back up heavy games. Then again, consumers looking to buy a tablet for gaming may not be looking for a strict gaming experience.

The Wikipad 7 features a 1280 x 800 high-definition IPS touch-screen display, Nvidia's Tegra 3 quad-core mobile processor optimized for cloud gaming with a 12 care Nvidia GPU, 1 GB of RAM, 16 GB of onboard storage, microSD card support, a 2 megapixel front-facing camera, stereo speakers, a microUSB and microHDMI port, a 4100mAh battery and a dual analog controller, which can connect to the tablet for easier gameplay. The Wikipad will run on Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean).

Gamers have three different options when it comes to downloading games: they can go through the Google Play store, PlayStation Mobile store, and Nvidia's TegraZone store. Games listed as playable on the Wikipad include "Grand Theft Auto 3," "Hockey Nations," "Dead Trigger,"and "Need for Speed: Most Wanted," among others.

The Wikipad 7 will launch at $249 at Wal-Mart, Best Buy and Tiger Direct.

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