I come here after many hours spent in scouring the internet for tips, reviews, options etc, about portable gaming solutions. We are having a hard time with the wife, deciding what to buy, since basically everyone has a different opinion on things and more importantly - different expectations.
Here's what we want - to get some sort of a portable gaming solution for our 5 year old kid, to be used on roadtrips, long journeys with plane and other similar occasions when kids get super bored (parents here will know).
We've been looking at the options, and generally two solutions seem best for us -
1. An Android tablet
2. A Nintendo 3DS
Today we discovered a hybrid, which adds a third option (and a cheap one at that) - the Archos Gamepad. So once again we started looking things up, reading up reviews etc, but as i said, everyone seems to be scoring different things, that not always correspond with our real needs. Some reviews say the gadget is great, if used for the proper games (not FPS), others say the controls are shit and very hard to map, the controls are not shit and very easy to map with the special app, the battery is shit, the screen is shit, the screen is great because it is IPS...
So yeah, i decided to ask here, complete with our expectations, rather than keep reading what random people think about random aspects of the same product.
What we need it to do:
Be usable, fun and useful to a 5 year old. We want it to allow the kid to play creative games like drawing, colouring etc, pre-school stuff and also some platformers and simple games like Cut the Rope, Angry Birds, Dora the Explorer, etc. We want to have some form of parental control, for use time, internet... Also, the ability to play movies and audio are definitely a bonus. And we want it to be worth the money. Some hardware (hello Apple) seems to be REALLY overpriced for what it is, because of fan-boyishness, novelty or just because.
Now for what i've seen so far, the Archos Gamepad does all that we want it to do - It runs Android, which means Play Store, which means tons of apps for drawing and school stuff, free or cheap games, parental control... It can also play video (contrary to say a DS). What it apparently "fails" at is playing first person shooters and other such games that require very good precision of the thumb sticks. It has mediocre screen, but that's a bit... not so sure. And the battery life lasts "only" 5 hours of video play and less when playing 3d heavy games such as Dead Space.
Of course, our kid won't be playing Dead Space or anything of the like, atleast not for the next couple of years, so basically that's not an issue.
The Gamepad is also quite cheep, can get it for 130-140 euros, which is not bad compared to other 7 inch tables out there.
Still, if anyone here has this device, or has used it for a while - Do you think it does correspond to our needs? And is it worth the money or do you find it's price bloated because of the novelty value (released pre-Nvidia Shield, etc) ?
We tend to prefer the Android-device-solution better than the previous "winner", the 3DS, because after a lot of thought we figured that even if the games available on the Nintendo are generally better, they are also harder and better suited for older children. An Android device offers some simple, yet fun games, and also the added bonus of properly playing videos.