Archos GamePad: The 7-inch gaming tablet with sights on the PS Vita

Archos has announced the launch of a new 7-inch gaming tablet with dedicated buttons, that is set to take on the PS Vita and even the Nintendo DS handheld consoles.

The new GamePad -  announced at IFA in Berlin, Germany - combines physical gaming controls with a full Android-powered tablet and features a 7-inch, capacitive screen, physical control buttons and analogue sticks.

The GamePad runs a 1.5Ghz processor with a Mali 400mp quad-core GPU to handle the graphics side of things. Unlike some earlier Archos tablets, the new model is also Google certified, so you get access to the Google Play store, and promises to map keys to your favourite games automatically - very much in the same way Sony Ericsson did with the PlayStation phone, the Xperia Play.

"Until now, tablets provided gamers with touch controls that lacked response and compatibility, providing a disappointing gaming experience. As one of the main tablet uses, there is a strong need for a tablet that does more for gaming," says Archos, echoing similar comments from Sony a couple of years ago.

The company presumably hopes its can lure people away from Sony's more expensive PS Vita when it comes to gaming, while still giving them all the benefits of Android.

The Archos GamePad is due out at the end of October 2012 for less than £130, the company says.