Would You Lug A Wii U-Like Android Gamepad Around To Play With?

By Eugene . August 17, 2014 . 12:31pm

How would it feel to be lugging around a mobile gaming device that’s about the size and weight of Nintendo’s Wii U Gamepad? Actually, would doing that help give mobile gaming some form of better street cred than the moans that it’s knock offs, card games and free-to-play microtransaction heaven?


Well, maybe this might let you figure that out.


The above is an Android-based tablet/gamepad behemoth from company GPD we ran across while scouring the Interwebz over the week.



Quick specs: It’s huge. The touchscreen alone is practically the size of an iPad Mini. For comparison, GPD’s Android device is 7 inches. Nintendo’s Wii U Gamepad is at 6.2 inches, Sony’s PlayStation Vita at 5 inches, and the iPad Mini is at 7.9 inches. It runs a 1.6Ghz quad-core Cortex A9 with 1GB of internal RAM. Internal storage is at 8GB with a microSD expansion slot also available. And it’s about US$200.



That’s not including the tacked on controller, which is about as full-featured as you’d expect from a “proper” gamepad. Two joysticks, multiple bumpers (L and R triggers 1 through 3), a D-pad and four face buttons round it out. We’ll leave aside all the other stuff such devices can do (like cook, clean, do your laundry…)


Surprisingly, the GPD tablet weighs in at just about 500g, roughly the same as a Wii U Gamepad. The Vita Slim in comparison is about half that in weight. So if you did take this with you while out, you’d be essentially carrying a Wii U Gamepad, with an Android heart.


Why are we talking about this? Well, we want to hear your thoughts on the issue. Do you think mobile gaming could be better if everyone had something like GPD’s dedicated gamepad/tablet? Is this thing a monster that should never have been born? Do you prefer having a smaller form-factor accessory to tack on and off when you choose, such as Razer’s Junglecat accessory for iPhones? Heck, would you buy and use this device? And what would you play?

Read more stories about & on Siliconera.

  • Kumiko Akimoto

    Well I would but not if it’s android

  • MinakoArisato

    Uhm, I have the Playstation Vita.
    So, no, because I already have an excellent handheld console…

  • Jin Kisaragi
  • FiveOVER

    Not much of a point when there are not many games that make use of the physical controls. Windows 8 would be cool though. Although there’s already the razer edge.

  • Kaitou21

    I might if didn’t already have a 3DS, seems mostly pointless and the specs aren’t that good either, barely any smartphone games support controller’s, but i guess it’s great for emulation, a portable N64, Dreamcast, PSX, NDS, and GBA in one (or you could buy a moga controller for like $50 for the smartphone you may already have and save yourself $150.)

  • Foxeh Shihōin

    don’t know any good games for a phone that i could use a controller to. plus that looks too big to even be a phone anymore.. unless its supposed to be a tablet. but then that’s kinda moot if it is.

  • Zizal

    I dislike paying for digital content so mobile gaming isn’t for me plus I tried some F2P games and I didn’t like them.

  • Namuro

    I think it’s pretty neat, but people won’t really use it… I mean, we’re talking about “mobile game” here, in which most games are made with a “touch only” control scheme in mind, or even if you can use the control pad for it, it might still be easier to play via the touch screen.

    Although, it would really benefit those who like to play emulated games. I remember playing Rockman Zero on my nephew’s iPad and I sucked big time, because I just couldn’t control with the touch screen. Having a proper controller like that would be a god-send. Still, my nephew had NO PROBLEM playing the game, since he’s been playing on the iPad for like…forever. In which case, I suppose only “older gamers who want to replay old games on the tablet but cannot play without a controller” will want this…?

    Other than that, gamers that want a “proper” handheld game would go for either a 3DS or a Vita, anyway.

    But if I have one, though, I would use it to play Monster Hunter Freedom Unite. But then again, it’s only for the iOS, and I already have Monster Hunter 4…and 4G very soon…

  • FivePointedTheStar

    Whether or not this gamepad/ipad hybrid will depend almost entirely on what kind of games end up landing on it. If it receives terrible dev support, people won’t want it. It seems made to play games, after all.

    Also, this new device needs a niche in the market. I don’t see how it can currently compete against the 3DS and the Vita. Or iPads, since we’re making a size/specs comparison. What would convince people to buy this and not one of the three items I mentioned? Right now, I’m not so sure.

  • d19xx

    I actually tried to hunt one down around my area. I was looking for either Archos or JXD. Found a JXD second hand, didn’t bother with it.

  • I’ll pass.

  • persona_yuji

    For some reason I somewhat feel like this:

  • mikanko

    Considering the touch controls would still wind up being used more often than not since mobile gaming isn’t made with dpads and buttons in mind, I don’t know if there’s really any point in having such a device. I’d also have to feel that dpad, but from the picture it looks a step back from the vita and 3ds.

    For that matter I don’t know why you’d want to make it that large, and an android gaming device the size of a vita slim seems like it’d make more sense. The only reason to have a touch screen device as large as a Wii U pad is because you can play Wii U games on it. <_<;

  • Anan27

    I prefer an Nvidia Shield. I’ve tried to research for other gamepad android handhelds and so far the Nvidia Shield is my final answer. :)

  • Reiswindy

    Do most Android games support gamepad? This looks more like a portable Emulator Machine.

  • Mastery

    What’s with the random image of K’?

    • Psycho_Calibur

      that’s what i was wondering too.

  • Suicunesol

    It won’t work. Not only is it ugly, but it defeats the purpose of portable devices in the first place. Portable means small, which means that the device must be small enough to fit in your pocket or purse. It’s also thick with all manner of buttons and sticks sticking out of it, making it harder to jam into whatever bag you’re thinking of.

    To make matters worse, it has no screen cover or any other way to protect its large screen. Speaking of which, the large screen will suck battery power like no tomorrow.

    Ironically, there’s not much of a difference between this and a Playstation Vita. Whoa, chill! I didn’t mean it that way! But besides the form factor, game library, and brand, really, they’re pretty much the same. In fact, if Sony’s portable gaming division plans to increase the screen size with the next generation, they might end up with something like this.

    Lastly, this is a device aimed at enthusiasts (especially because it’s not branded). But enthusiasts are more likely to spend long hours at home, playing on their home consoles instead. They don’t need this unless they want to show off. Casual, mobile gamers might not want this either. It’s too big and conspicuous. In my opinion, portable gaming devices should be as inconspicuous as a bag of tampons, yet as sleek as a sports car.

  • WatchGintama

    These android devices are meant for emulation. If you want to get one of these, I suggest the Nvidia Shield (best on the market.)

    And if you want to know more about these android devices, check out the dingoonity forums for open console discussion.

  • Eric Harris

    I’m waiting for one that’s smaller. This one looks OK but I want more of a vita sized built in controller unit for Emulation. I currently use an ipod touch 5th gen and a gametel. They eventually will make a knock out awesome smaller one.

    • WatchGintama

      Look at the GPD G5A or Nvidia Shield.

      • Eric Harris

        Well the GPD G5A is definitely getting closer. It’s a bit too bulky and looks fugly. Good thing is though other companies will probably nail one I love at some point. I look at it this way, if my tiny little ipod touch can play Sega CD and PSX games near flawlessly. They should be able to make a small stylish one that’s powerful enough to play N64, and Saturn (once RetroArch adds it). Until I see one I love, what I have now is good enough.

    • An Tran

      EDIT: Ack, so sorry. I forgot what article I was replying on orz

      The device I was describing, and the one that I think you might want to look into, is called the Snail or iReadyGo Much W1. It comes out this month and is quite the looker. It might fit your needs very well.

  • E.T.993

    So, they ripped off the concept of the gamepad(and Vita, too) to make a crappy add-on accessory that’s not even going to be used because most mobile developers are too lazy? Well, there goes an accessory. MIGHT be useful for emulation,though. MIGHT be.

  • DrakeClawfang

    No thanks. I’ve seen plenty of third-party peripherals that as a game pads for smartphones, you just connect them and it’s like a handheld. I see no reason to purchase one of these when I could buy one such peripheral.

    • WatchGintama

      But then you’d be wasting your phone’s battery

      • DrakeClawfang

        Some do, some of them come with on-board battery packs that keep them topped up for a few hours without the phone needing to power them.

  • subsamuel01

    $200? You could get a Vita or a 3DS for less than that much now, not worth it.

  • indra jaya

    in the past, I had myself N-GAGE and XPERIA PLAY… both were great device but they have flaw that every phone had. they were obsolete in 2 years(unlike my psp haha…) no more games, no more support, no more firmware update (xperia play runs on obsolete gingerbread platform).

    dont get me wrong, I love mobile games. still playing dead trigger 2 and metal slug defense until now. but I’d rather buy dedicated handheld/console game than dedicated gaming phone.

    and talking about obsolete platform. I consider some platform obsolete if XSEED localozation and the other niche japanese game developer stop releasing games on it. haha…. so my PSP still has life on it.

    • An Tran

      Agarest War was recently ported to Android this year.
      And you can still download it on Gingerbread devices like Xperia Play.
      And it supports Xperia Play’s buttons.
      And last time I checked, they labeled the game as “Xperia Play-optimized”.
      In other words, don’t group the Xperia Play with the NGage. It’s running Android, so it still gets games.

  • Max

    If you’re going to carry anything other than a phone, you might as well carry a real handheld console to play actual games.

  • Spirit Macardi

    It’s not a bad concept, almost like a step-up from the Nvidia Shield since it has a bigger screen. Though, the Shield also has the PC streaming feature and games designed especially for it… This doesn’t have those factors.

    Not saying it can’t work, but the vast majority of Android games are completely reliant on touch and don’t support controllers.

    • An Tran

      Depends on what you’re playing. The smaller, casual stuff that are built purely for touchscreen won’t have controller support (usually, but there are exceptions like Dragon-Fly), but the bigger core-type games and the niche arcade and rpg games will have controller support. Things are changing my friend.

  • Kalis Konig

    I recently purchased a jxd s7800b. Mostly for emulation purposes tbh.

  • Sora Nojiko

    I’d just use this as a Gameboy Advance XXXL, lol

  • Probably the biggest plus is a better web browser than any console and general productivity & entertainment apps that game consoles lack.

    • HarakiriKami

      I dunno, my Wii U ‘s game browser is better than most tablets

      • I’ve probably spent a hundred hours on the wii u browser. It’s serviceable, but it’s not great, and it doesn’t compare to chrome or safari. Tabs are limited to six, there’s no history, address bar kinda sucks, sometimes it flat out breaks and sites refuse to load, siliconera is constantly refreshing, there’s no “prefer mobile” option to get mobile-friendly versions of sites to load or not load, it’s often slow, sites like gmail and facebook kinda just suck on it, no way to default HD video on youtube, interstitial video ads will just cut the stream and send you back to 0:00, no way to override disabled zoom like in chrome, there are a lot of problems.

        • HarakiriKami

          Tell me did you read the tutorial the browser has. I love all the features it comes with, makes browsing and ease and doing web stuff with the games. Frankly its the best browser out of any console due to the interface. PS4’s the only other console with a decent browser, but you still have to use a dual shock ( but it has motion controls at least)

          Are you familiar with the developer tools you should check out the browsers options it has a lot of things you can do there.

          You change the browser type if you want mobile ( or you go to the mobile sites link) Chrome is a browser type on the Wii U. So you shouldnt have the zooming problem.

          Zooming in and out itself is rather easy. Its mapped to the left control stick and you can percent zoom via a button.

          If you still have issues on the sites, just use the android browser option on Wii U and change them with this code

          javascript:document.querySelector(‘meta[name=viewport]’).content = ‘width=device-width; initial-scale=1.0; maximum-scale=3.0; user-scalable=1;’; void(0)

          The search bars not that big a deal, though its a bit annoying having to retype google every time I want to use it( or flip through the pages in the bookmarks, which is what I use for the majority of the sites I go to. Wii U makes it very easy to go from game to browser)

          The Twitter version is the mobile by default as well.
          If you want to make videos HD on youtube you just click on the toggle.

          I dont have any issues with ads on the Wii U either. The videos load fine and they play ad

          And yes sometimes the web browser is slow from too much shit in the things cache. Like cookies. That happens on all devices with browsers.

          Its usually fast for me.

          • Some sites disable zoom because some site owners are idiots. Chrome has a feature to override it. Wii U really needs it because zoom is a necessity on most sites. Speaking of which, it’s a bad zoom feature. It doesn’t hug the text like on android so you end up tweaking the stick back and forth until you can read all the text.

            Like I said, I use the browser a lot – almost every day. It has too many quirks for casual use. It’s the best of any console, definitely, (largely due to the controller) but any up-to-date android or ios tablet is better.

          • HarakiriKami

            You double tap with the stylus to tweak zoom.

            You seem more familiar with android.

            I guess it being easier to learn is a plus? I dunno.

  • These devices are near perfect if you are looking for emulation. With RetroArch on Android, as well as PPSSPP and some other stuff, it really shines. You can (supposedly) configure touch games to work with the gamepad, so shooters and platformers (such as Sonic) might actually be better with things like this. My personal favorite is the Archos Gamepad 2. That one is also big, but looks like a Vita.

  • SkullScience

    Gaming tablets are what they are. Perfect for gaming compared to a normal tablet (without physical controls) and essential for emulation. There is simply no contest. I have actually even seen people carrying Wii U in backpacks with the Wii U gamepad as the portable gaming device. Sounds ridiculous but seems to work in practice. Tablets without physical controls are for the casuals in terms of gaming.

    • ddh819

      I guess a wii u is not that heavy but how would you power the wii u? i guess they’re plugging it in wherever they can? do you need to carry the sensor bar also?

      • An Tran

        The Gamepad has a built in sensor bar, so you don’t need to carry a separate one if you want to use Wiimotes.

  • Bunzi

    K’: Race car driver by day, bored as hell tournament fighter by night.

    Giant murder weapon android tablet advocate when money’s tight.

  • wahyudil

    I’m already bored with android games …

  • teknik1200

    the wii u controller is more of a lap top thing than a portable thing Imho, and i say that as someone who actually has a wii u and actually likes using the game pad as a controller.

    • HarakiriKami

      But you can play your Wii U in the Car, the Train and even on the plane!!

      • teknik1200

        still can’t play it on my motorcycle tho! :P

        • HarakiriKami

          Google glasses and eye tracking bro

  • HarakiriKami

    This doesnt look anywhere near as ergonomically friendly as the Wii U gamepad. The buttons are too scrunched together on the side and that D-pad looks like the 360 D-Pad in all honesty. I’d need to try it to see if its as terrible as it looks

  • My god that is ugly as hell, really hope this type of thing never takes off.

  • Aristides

    That D-pad looks horrendous, not something I’d want to play 2D games on. As for the system itself, it seems to have the same specs as the Vita, tough I doubt it’ll run as good.

Video game stories from other sites on the web. These links leave Siliconera.

Siliconera Tests
Siliconera Videos