Playdate preorders begin in July, handheld to ship later in 2021

Pre-orders for Playdate, the trendy, portable video games console revealed by producer Panic, Inc. back in 2019, open in July. The gadget costs $179, the business stated on Tuesday. The purchase gets you the Playdate along with 24 video games launched over its very first 12-week season of material.

The very first systems “are expected to begin shipping later this year,” Panic included.

Tuesday’s statement likewise exposed the Playdate Stereo Dock, the portable’s very first device, although it does not yet have a cost or launch date. However the Stereo Dock is a Bluetooth-enabled speaker that will save and charge the Playdate when not in usage, “and, unexpectedly, can hold your pens. (It will include a pen.)”

There is likewise The Playdate Cover, a protective case for the gadget and its screen. Bundles that include a Cover may be pre-ordered for $199; the peripheral is $29 by itself.

As for the games, Panic on Tuesday named 21 of the 24. They will be released two-at-a-time every week once the Playdate launches. The games are (this list is not in chronological order of release):

  • Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure by uvula
  • Battleship Godios by TPM.CO Soft Works
  • Boogie Loops by May-Lie Khoe and Andy Matuschak
  • Casual Birder by Diego Garcia and Max Coburn
  • DemonQuest 85 by Alex Ashby, Lawrence Bishop, Duncan Fyfe, Belinda Leung, and Jared Emerson-Johnson
  • Echoic Memory by Samantha Kalma, Everest Pipkin, Carol Mertz, and Rachelle Viola
  • Executive Golf DX by davemakes
  • Flipper Lifter by Serenity Forge
  • Forrest Byrnes: Up in Smoke by Nels Anderson and Christina “castpixel” Neofotistou
  • Hyper Meteor by Vertex Pop
  • Lost Your Marbles by Sweet Baby Inc. & Friends
  • Omaze by Gregory Kogos
  • Pick Pack Pup by Nic Magnier, Arthur Hamer, and Logan Gabriel
  • Questy Chess by Dadako
  • Ratcheteer by Shaun Inman, Matthew Grimm, and Charlie Davis
  • Sasquatchers by Chuck Jordan
  • Snak by Zach Gage and Neven Mrgan
  • Spellcorked! by Jada Gibbs, Nick Splendorr, Ryan Splendorr, Tony Ghostbrite, and Em Halberstadt
  • Zipper by Bennett Foddy
  • Saturday Edition by Chris Makris, Gord McGladdery, and Alfonso Salinas
  • Whitewater Wipeout by Chuhai Labs

Tuesday’s update also said that Lucas Pope (Return of the Obra Dinn; Papers, Please) is at work on a new game for the PlayDate called Mars After Midnight.

A screenshot of Saturday Edition for Playdate

Saturday Edition
Image: Chris Makris, Gord McGladdery, and Alfonso Salinas

A screenshot of Lost Your Marbles by Sweet Baby Inc. & Friends for Playdate

Lost Your Marbles
Image: Sweet Baby Inc. & Friends

Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure by uvula for Playdate

Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure
Image: uvula

Developers can usage Panic’s development kit for Playdate, called Pulp, to make and sell side-loaded games for the device; the company’s plans for publication and distribution of other titles, apart from side-loading them, later on.

Playdate has a 2.7-inch, black-and-white display on a case that measures 74 x 76 x 9 mm. It likewise has a quirky rotary crank on the side, which can be used in some of the video games made for it (such as Crankin’s Time Travel Experience). Playdate likewise includes a headphone jack and USB-C port, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support.

“The sooner you order, the sooner you’ll get one, but we’re not going to close the door on you,” Panic co-founder Cabel Sasser stated in a statement. “Hopefully it’s a pleasant experience. Although surely something will go wrong, so thanks for your patience with whatever that thing is.”

Tuesday’s statement likewise stated that Panic itself would be making “some extra surprise games along the way” for the Playdate. Panic, established in 1997, entered publishing in 2016 with Firewatch and followed that in 2019 with Untitled Goose Video Game.

Jobber Wiki author Frank Long contributed to this report.