Pre-Order Playdate, The Crank-Controlled Handheld Games System, This July

Playdate

First revealed in 2019, Playdate is a handheld games console being created by Panic – the publisher of Firewatch and Untitled Goose Game.

Yeah, a publisher releasing a games console. Weird, right? But Playdate isn’t your typical games console. It’s pocket-sized, it has a black and white screen and, accompanying its more traditional d-pad and two face buttons, it has a crank.

After simply being teased for two years, we finally have some solid information about Playdate. Most importantly, pre-orders for the console will open this July, and it will be priced at $179. There’s no release date however; just that “first units are expected to begin shipping later this year”.

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The 15-minute long update video, which you can watch below, gave us a look at Playdate’s first accessory – the Playdate Stereo Dock. It charges your Playdate while not in use and doubles as a Bluetooth speaker. And, uh, a pen pot.

The update also revealed 21 of the 24 games which will be included with the Playdate as part of season one. Rather than all being available on the console immediately, two will drop every two weeks for the first 12 weeks of the console’s life. Presumably, season two will then kick in, with another round of games, though users will have to pay extra for future seasons.

The games coming to Playdate  have been developed specifically for the system, and are as follows:

  • Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure
  • Battleship Godios
  • Boogie Loops
  • Casual Birder
  • DemonQuest 85
  • Echoic Memory
  • Executive Golf DX
  • Flipper Lifter
  • Forrest Byrnes: Up in Smoke
  • Hyper Meteor
  • Lost Your Marbles
  • Omaze
  • Pick Pack Pup
  • Questy Chess
  • Ratcheteer
  • Sasquatchers
  • Snak
  • Spellcorked!
  • Zipper
  • Saturday Edition
  • Whitewater Wipeout

The video below also contains information about upcoming projects, from the mouths of the developers working on them.

Needless to say, Playdate is something rather unique. It’s not going to for everyone, but if you enjoy quirky games and delving into new and unusual technology, then it’s well worth keeping your eye on.

There’s no set date in July for when the pre-orders will go live, though Panic says it will provide a one week warning before they open. It also plans to keep pre-orders open to allow everyone who’s interested to get an order in.