Wikipad CEO Defends Tablet's Steep Price

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Vorador2

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The problem is not the device itself. It's the apps, very few are going to be optimized for a controller on a tablet.

And well, the screen is nothing to write home about. For that price, one would expect to get a better screen, specially when at that price point it goes against the iPad 3.
 

jerm1027

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If you buy a tablet that's seven inches, you can get a $199 tablet -- it's called a Google Nexus or a Kindle Fire," he said. "If you're gonna get a full 10-inch tablet, a tablet to this quality, you're gonna spend $499 to $749
Considering the 7 has slightly better hardware, and the OUYA is only $99, that must be one hell of a 10" to justify $300-$400; something that should put the iPad 3's to shame.

On a serious note, drop the price or don't expect sales. You don't have a gaming library, or developer partnerships like OUYA or Sony and there 10" tablets that are cheaper with equal or better hardware.
 

freggo

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Never even heard of them before this article.
No GPS... and $500?
Screen res. not even close to an iPad (and I am no Apple fan).
Sorry, but I don't see this flying off the shelves.

 

chomlee

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jerm, thanks for the OUYA reference. I never heard of it before but THAT actually sounds exciting.

This particular device is just another tablet that will fail.
 

nocteratus

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I have a 10.1" tablet Android base with almost the same specs and with 32Gb of storage and instead of a controller I have something much more useful, I can put a mobile dock with more features.
And I paid $400.
 
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I was going to say something to defend this device--after all, hardware controls plus plenty of options for emulation make for an enticing proposition.

But then there's the Archos Gamepad. And it's really hard to imagine that I'd spend the extra $300+ on a Wikipad...
 

bpjerseyboy

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[citation][nom]Vorador2[/nom]The problem is not the device itself. It's the apps, very few are going to be optimized for a controller on a tablet.[/citation]

You know, I have been debating this with my gaming cronies and I don't think the price is that bad. Yes, $500 is a lot of money, but you do get quite a bit here. You have a tablet that can run all your standard apps. internet access, etc. When you're bored with that, you snap on the controller and play to your heart's content.

Vorador's comment at the top is only somewhat accurate. The release of the OUYA ensures that there will definitely be a crossover of games. There are services like onlive that support controller based devices like the Xperia play. Lastly, there are emulators that do the same. I have about 10 of them on my Xperia, all of which support controller input. All these I've mentioned are on top of whatever they will develop specific for the tablet.

Support is not an issue here if you know how to work with open source products. It's just the size of your wallet that counts.
 
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[citation][nom]bpjerseyboy[/nom]You know, I have been debating this with my gaming cronies and I don't think the price is that bad.[/citation]
It's not that bad. The more I try to argue against it, the better it looks. The best argument I can make (and it's certainly not invalid) is that the Archos Gamepad will cost half as much and be more portable. And the truth is that I really want a portable gaming system; I came this close to ordering a 3DS XL last night. If I can run a GB/GBA emulator and PSX emulator on either device, with full support for the hardware controls, I would be sorely tempted to grab one.
 

bpjerseyboy

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[citation][nom]Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer[/nom]The more I try to argue against it, the better it looks. The best argument I can make (and it's certainly not invalid) is that the Archos Gamepad will cost half as much and be more portable. And the truth is that I really want a portable gaming system;[/citation]

Undoubtedly a valid argument. My opting for the Wikipad is really more of a personal preference as I can detach the contoller to double for business applications. If all you are looking for is a gaming tablet, the Gamepad is a fine way to go.
 

teh_chem

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I don't see how this thing got past the inception phase, much less into the prototype and production phase.

Also, if you're not going to be a specifically-branded hardware platform with your own software titles, why not just make a good controller for use on any android tablet--why make an expensive tablet (with a lot of capital investment) when you can probably have much better profit margins by making a much less-costly item to fabricate and produce? Is bluetooth not a good enough connection to use (not a rhetorical question--I'm honestly asking, having never used a controller via a bluetooth connection).
 

830hobbes

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Wikipad? The name sounds like it should have free 3G for life and be optimized as an encyclopedia. An intentional version of what the kindle can be used for. The price would be a little steep but at least it would have a function that other things aren't better at.
 
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[citation][nom]teh_chem[/nom]I don't see how this thing got past the inception phase, much less into the prototype and production phase. Also, if you're not going to be a specifically-branded hardware platform with your own software titles, why not just make a good controller for use on any android tablet--why make an expensive tablet (with a lot of capital investment) when you can probably have much better profit margins by making a much less-costly item to fabricate and produce? Is bluetooth not a good enough connection to use (not a rhetorical question--I'm honestly asking, having never used a controller via a bluetooth connection).[/citation]
Here's the one place where I'll give grudging credit where it's due...it's a lot easier to design an accessory for a device when there's only one or two form factors ({cough}iPad{cough}). In contrast, there are a lot of different shapes and sizes of Android tablets, and I suspect it would be pretty hard to make one controller design that worked well with a range of dimensions and didn't feel kludgy.

I feel like the strength of the Wikipad is that the controller design is specialized to work well with the specific tablet design, giving the assembly a solid, purposeful feel (or so I've read; I haven't tried it myself). I guess the question is, what price are you willing to put on well-integrated physical gaming controls on a device that can be used in scenarios where you want to actually be holding the screen itself (couch, bed, subway, &c.)?
 

teh_chem

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[citation][nom]Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer[/nom]Here's the one place where I'll give grudging credit where it's due...it's a lot easier to design an accessory for a device when there's only one or two form factors ({cough}iPad{cough}). In contrast, there are a lot of different shapes and sizes of Android tablets, and I suspect it would be pretty hard to make one controller design that worked well with a range of dimensions and didn't feel kludgy.I feel like the strength of the Wikipad is that the controller design is specialized to work well with the specific tablet design, giving the assembly a solid, purposeful feel (or so I've read; I haven't tried it myself). I guess the question is, what price are you willing to put on well-integrated physical gaming controls on a device that can be used in scenarios where you want to actually be holding the screen itself (couch, bed, subway, &c.)?[/citation]
I would agree, if it weren't for the fact that a ton of bluetooth controllers/headsets/keyboards/mice work across platforms and across operating systems without much issue.

Not to mention, it's not like this tablet is all that different/specific from any other Android tablet being sold today--ICS Android and Tegra3, and uses current games out. The company isn't authoring any games. Also, I guess what I had in my head isn't a tablet-holding controller (as, IMHO, it's straining to hold up your tablet plus controller vs. just a controller for any real period of gaming)--all you'd need is a stand for your tablet, and then just hold the controller (the controller would have the motion/position sensors itself)--shouldn't be difficult to get that to work with most Android platforms over bluetooth. I should say, you can easily use pretty much every bluetooth device that has button controls (say, for media playback controls on a headset, or a BT keyboard/mouse) works on pretty much every device I've ever used--which makes me feel that it shouldn't be all that hard to ensure broad-support fairly easily.

I don't disagree, addressing a specific hardware platform or a small set of hardware platforms is simpler than addressing all. But so many accessories have already done this without a problem (even cross-OS without issue), it seems like the wikipad is a "because we could" project, rather than a "because this is what the consumers would want" project.
 
Sep 21, 2010
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[citation][nom]teh_chem[/nom]I would agree, if it weren't for the fact that a ton of bluetooth controllers/headsets/keyboards/mice work across platforms and across operating systems without much issue. [...] Also, I guess what I had in my head isn't a tablet-holding controller...it seems like the wikipad is a "because we could" project, rather than a "because this is what the consumers would want" project.[/citation]
A single-piece solution is what I, as a consumer, want. I don't want to have to put the tablet on a stand in order to play it. I want to be able to lounge on a couch or in bed with a game, not sit at a table.

You mentioned weight as an issue, but you can support the device partially with your lap or your stomach (depending on your preferred lounging style), and the device was purposefully made out of plastic in order to be lightweight.

Yes, Bluetooth controllers work on multiple devices, but unless the controller is designed to do what this one does (attach physically to the tablet), it's irrelevant.
 

bpjerseyboy

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[citation][nom]Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer[/nom]Here's the one place where I'll give grudging credit where it's due...it's a lot easier to design an accessory for a device when there's only one or two form factors ({cough}iPad{cough}). In contrast, there are a lot of different shapes and sizes of Android tablets, and I suspect it would be pretty hard to make one controller design that worked well with a range of dimensions and didn't feel kludgy.I feel like the strength of the Wikipad is that the controller design is specialized to work well with the specific tablet design, giving the assembly a solid, purposeful feel (or so I've read; I haven't tried it myself). I guess the question is, what price are you willing to put on well-integrated physical gaming controls on a device that can be used in scenarios where you want to actually be holding the screen itself (couch, bed, subway, &c.)?[/citation]

I'm with fogie. From a production standpoint, it would be so much harder to design a controller for every tablet out there or even a portion of them as each has different locations for proper inputs. I think the mistake we are all making here is going under the assumption that this was intended to be a mainstream device. With the allowance of hacking and support of emulators as well as gaming apps and support for Onlive, this has a wealth of games that are available on day 1. Still, it is a niche product to be sure. In comparison, the NEO GEO (I'm showing my age here) sold 2 million units with a price tag of $699. Do the math. If they sold the same amount of units at $500 (keep in mind all the capabilities here. 2 million might not be so hard), the haul for them would be 1 billion. Not bad for a niche product.
 

teh_chem

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[citation][nom]Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer[/nom]A single-piece solution is what I, as a consumer, want. I don't want to have to put the tablet on a stand in order to play it. I want to be able to lounge on a couch or in bed with a game, not sit at a table.You mentioned weight as an issue, but you can support the device partially with your lap or your stomach (depending on your preferred lounging style), and the device was purposefully made out of plastic in order to be lightweight.Yes, Bluetooth controllers work on multiple devices, but unless the controller is designed to do what this one does (attach physically to the tablet), it's irrelevant.[/citation]
If the controller is, as it says it is, a multi-axis controller, how could you easily support it on your lap and still retain the freedom of movement?

@ bpjerseyboy, the reason neo geo sold well was that it was an exclusive gaming platform with exclusive titles--not just a controller slapped onto a standard piece of hardware (i.e., your average android table), relying on standard games released in the native Android store. Tablets are already not that sought-after with the mass-public of consumers. Niche tablets even less so. Why would an enthusiast want to pay more money for lesser tablet spec's (i.e., 8GB on-board storage--which is a real issue with apps since some apps--specifically hefty-sized games must be installed on the internal storage) that costs significantly more than similarly-spec'd tablets. For the controller? Not to mention, when the hardware tech. advances, you have to buy a whole new tablet platform. Given how frequently hardware platforms change--and that Tegra3 is already "old," why is that in any way appealing? It's not like this is like a real console that has games specifically coded for them--you are still at the mercy of Android apps/games which, let's face it, have less-than-worthy multi-platform performance/support.
 
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[citation][nom]teh_chem[/nom]If the controller is, as it says it is, a multi-axis controller, how could you easily support it on your lap and still retain the freedom of movement?[/citation]
Dude, it's cool that you don't want it. Believe me, we get it. But there's a legitimate use case for the device. Maybe I just want to replay Final Fantasy VII without having to sit in front of my computer, ya' know?
 

teh_chem

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[citation][nom]Old_Fogie_Late_Bloomer[/nom]Dude, it's cool that you don't want it. Believe me, we get it. But there's a legitimate use case for the device. Maybe I just want to replay Final Fantasy VII without having to sit in front of my computer, ya' know?[/citation]
There's a legitimate case for a good and well-supported controller. There's virtually zero case for a tablet-integrated system. It's not a good idea to buy a tablet right now (at the end of this month) that's using the oldest iteration of Tegra3--going on a year old, knowing full well that the refresh rate of Tegra has been fast and previous versions all but abandoned. The next iteration of Tegra is slated to come out Q1 of 2013--just a few months the Wikipad and its year-old hardware goes on sale. It still makes far more sense to make a separate controller with whatever various tablet adapters you need and target as wide an audience as possible, and have a bit better hardware/software/platform support. Take a read through the comments section of the various hands-on reviews of the wikipad. Most people are more than willing to fork over up to $150 for just a good controller if it means they can retain freedom on their tablet.
 
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