Playdate is a new portable gaming system created by app developer Panic. Panic made its name through creating Mac and iOS software but they recently moved into the gaming scene, having previously published Firewatch. Now, it seems that the publishing firm is moving into the portable gaming market. Last week, the company revealed the Playdate console, which is a tiny yellow device with a hand crank for controlling a few games.
Speaking on the new interesting console, Panic stated that they wanted to create something unique in the video game industry, with co-founder Cabel Sasser saying, “the yellow colour immediately made Playdate feel approachable, friendly and impossible to resist.” The device is very small and features a black-and-white screen with no back-light, two face buttons, a d-pad and a crank which is fitted onto the side of the device. The crank is meant to be used as a very unique control scheme.
Other features include WI-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C and a headphone jack. The device will also run on a custom OS, which was designed by Panic and can be recharged via USB. There hasn’t been any word on the battery life though.
Another unique feature of the new console is how games are installed on the device. Instead of purchasing game cartridges or downloading games, it comes bundled in with a few. Panic calls it a “season” of games with 12 titles, which are specifically designed for the Playdate and will be released over time. When you receive the device, you’ll get access to one with a new game unlocking each week after that.
The Playdate is expected to release in early 2020 and will cost $149 at launch. There’s no news on which countries they will ship the device to. Pre-orders will go live later this year if you want to get your hands on it early. The Playdate may not change the video game industry but it will definitely be something different. Here’s to hoping that it takes off.
Will you be picking up a Playdate when it releases?