Developer and publisher Panic Inc. has just unveiled an exciting new project that’s been years in the making. Primary known for Mac/iOS software and for publishing Firewatch, Panic Inc. dropped the news today that an all-new handheld console called “Playdate” is coming soon.
To sum it up:
“It’s yellow. It fits in your pocket. It’s got a beautiful black and white screen. It’s not super cheap, but not super expensive. It includes brand new games from some amazing creators. Plus it has a crank.”
Yep, a crank. It pops out from the side of the device and functions as a rotating analog controller. Enabling, in theory, a multitude of unique possibilities for the designers that are slated to produce games for the device.
Keita Takahashi (“Katamari Damacy”, “We Love Katamari”) and Bennett Foddy (“Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy”) are among other designers revealed so far to be working on games for the Playdate– games which will be included in the device’s purchase price of $149. Twelve titles are promised to arrive on the console during “Season One”, with one new (surprise) game being released each week.
More information on these forthcoming games may be coming soon, but owners of the Playdate won’t know which game they’re getting until it’s delivered directly to the device. “We’d like to keep them a secret until they appear on your Playdate,” Panic Inc. explains. “We want to surprise you. Some are short, some long, some are experimental, some traditional. All are fun.”
With its clean, minimal lines and Nintendo Game and Watch-like visuals, it’s no surprise that Teenage Engineering (designer of boutique synthesizers and samplers) are partners in the project. Panic expects to ship the Playdate in early 2020, and you can sign up to be notified when it’s ready here on the console’s site. Stock will be “very limited”.
To learn more about Panic Inc. and the specifics of the Playdate you can read this excerpt from Edge Magazine’s story.
Also, check out this interestingly similar handheld that appeared in Firewatch three years ago…
Congrats to @panic for announcing @playdate, their tiny game console full of big surprises! https://t.co/gqiSgaA2cK The first surprise: It was right in front of us this whole time… pic.twitter.com/ejTG6Oc2qF
— Campo Santo (@camposanto) May 22, 2019