At the beginning of October, the gaming tablet WikiPad still looked like a potential sleeper hit in the broader tablet world. Apple had its rumored-then-confirmed iPad 4, Amazon was rolling out the next wave of Kindle Fires, and Microsoft had the Surface waiting in the wings, but WikiPad was the only Android tablet that came with a pre-built gaming controller. It was expensive at $500, but it sounded like the kind of device that would appeal to the tech obsessed.
The WikiPad was supposed to release at GameStop on Wednesday morning. It didn’t, though, and now the company doesn’t know when the gaming tablet will come out.
“The WikiPad team has been relentlessly working with our manufacturers and partners to perfect the WikiPad bundle to ensure our first product is the best tablet and entertainment experience at launch,” said an official statement from the company, “There is a last minute opportunity to enhance the WikiPad bundle as well as a minor refinement needed to ensure our first customers are completely satisfied with the WikiPad.”
When those customers will be satisfied is a mystery. The statement went on to say that those who had pre-ordered the device at GameStop would receive a “special bonus gift.” GameStop has stopped taking pre-orders for the device as of this writing.
The future of the WikiPad was thrown into question this past summer when its key partner was acquired by a heavyweight in the gaming industry. In May WikiPad announced that it was partnering with cloud-based streaming gaming service Gaikai to support the tablet with games from major publishers like Electronic Arts. Gaikai was purchased by Sony in July, though, and it’s been unknown if and when Sony would integrate the Gaikai service into its PlayStation brand.
Sony did confirm in October that it would support WikiPad, though not with Gaikai streaming. The tablet was announced as PlayStation Certified and that it would host the digital storefront for mobile games, PlayStation Mobile.
It’s possible that the release was delayed to ensure a better line up of software. It’s also possible that there was a production problem with the device. That WikiPad was delayed at the very last second before it was supposed to ship is not an encouraging sign, though. It’s doubtful that the gaming tablet will join the retail fray this holiday.