Developer Panic has just unveiled the Playdate, a brand new console and it is certainly a departure from our recent PlayStation 5 reports. Also, did we mention it features its very own hand operated crank!
The diminutive yellow console is the brainchild of developer Panic. The team that you might remember for publishing Firewatch are more accustomed to pumping out ios and Mac software. This time, however, they partnered with Teenage Engineering to produce a platform that is designed to fit an untapped market. The Playdate will find its place between long gaming sessions on the couch and the latest phone RPG.
The small jot of fun is small enough to slip into your pocket at 74x76x9 mm. It comes adorned with two trigger buttons, a D-Pad, a 2.7-inch monochrome screen, speaker, wi-fi, Bluetooth, USB-C, a fully rechargeable battery a headphone jack, and a working crank handle. The crank is designed to be used as a fun new input device, that developers can get to grips with. The crank aside, that’s a lot of techs to pack into such a small device. While we don’t know the full spec yet it seems that the team behind this have their very own bespoke board and Playdate OS to work with.
With all these features and a working crank handle, the Playdate needs some games. With no GameBoy style cartridge slot, the Playdate will work on a season pass model, delivering games incrementally to consumers. Anybody who picks up the Playdate will get season one free of charge and it looks intriguing. Promises of games that are short, long, experimental, and traditional adorn the Playdate website and they might very well live up to that expectation. The first game in the line up will be Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure by Katamari Damacy designer Keita Takahashi. Other notable indie developers are already touted with Zach Gage, Bennett Foddy, and Shaun Inman (The Last Rocket) also making games for the Playdate.
The biggest early adopter hurdle for Panic is going to be the cost. The Playdate comes in at $149 for the hardware and first season pass. Despite this, if the team can convince players that the software isn’t the usual dirge of pre-order nonsense that AAA studios foist on players then the Playdate could certainly end up in your pocket when it arrives in early 2020. You can find out more about the Playdate on the official website.