Playdate Handheld Gets Price, Pre-Order Date, And 24 Free Games

Illustration for article titled Playdate Handheld Gets Price, Pre-Order Date, And 24 Free Games

Image: Panic

Firewatch and Untitled Goose Game writer Panic at the moment offered a rather substantial update on Playdate, the lovable little handheld with a crank it first introduced in 2019.

First and foremost: Playdate pre-orders open in July at a worth level of $179. And whereas an actual date wasn’t offered, Panic co-founder Cabel Sasser promised to supply a heads-up per week prematurely for folk excited about copping one as quickly as potential.

Sasser additionally mentioned that Panic doesn’t intend to “sell out” of Playdates, however moderately proceed taking orders and sending out models as they obtain them from the manufacturing unit. This method appears in stark distinction to that of competing retro handheld developer Analogue Inc., whose Analogue Pocket system sold out almost immediately final August with no indication of future restocks, resulting in widespread fan disappointment. (Analogue has since dedicated to producing more Pockets.)

“The sooner you order, the sooner you’ll get yours, but we’re not going to close the door on you,” Sasser added. “If we sell way more Playdates than we planned, given how constrained parts are right now due to covid-19, it might take a while for you to get your Playdate. We’ll be working constantly with the factory to adjust for demand and we’ll be talking to you every step of the way.”

Panic additionally introduced the Playdate Stereo Dock. It’s just about what it says on the tin: a Playdate charging dock that additionally doubles as a Bluetooth stereo speaker. Oh, and it has a pen holder, making it a neat addition to your work desk. It even comes with a pen in case you’re working low on foolish bodily writing devices. Score!

As for what you’ll be taking part in, Panic has doubled the variety of video games included with each Playdate buy. Every week for 12 weeks, Playdate homeowners will get two new video games as a part of the hand-held’s season one choices. That quantities to 24 free video games, some from notable builders like Keita Takahashi (Katamari Damacy, Wattam), Bennett Foddy (QWOP, Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy), and Zach Gage (Ridiculous Fishing, Card of Darkness).

Panic additionally introduced a partnership with narrative improvement firm Sweet Baby Inc. to “guide and develop” two groups made up of creators from marginalized communities. The first undertaking to spawn from this initiative is Lost Your Marbles, a visible novel the place decisions are made through rolling marble puzzles. Lost Your Marbles will finally discover its approach to Playdate as a part of season one, with extra Sweet Baby video games like Recommendation Dog (created by Xalavier Nelson Jr. of An Airport for Aliens Currently Run by Dogs fame) and Reel Steal coming someday sooner or later.

Lucas Pope, the artistic thoughts behind video games like Papers, Please and Return of the Obra Dinn, can be creating for Playdate. His subsequent recreation, Mars After Midnight, remains to be in early days however clearly advantages from Pope’s earlier work creating unbelievable experiences with restricted graphics.

Mars After Midnight remains to be early in improvement, however already seems fantastic.
Gif: Lucas Pope

“This thing is a lot of fun to work with,” Pope defined throughout at the moment’s Playdate replace. “The perfect place, I thought, to make something that my kids might like. Less death, more laughs, basically. It’s not much and I can’t say I know what I’m doing, but we’ll see how it goes.”

And lastly, aspiring recreation devs will be capable of make their very own Playdate tasks with a brand new browser-based improvement app often known as Pulp. More particulars are anticipated sooner or later however thus far it seems like a very neat approach to make easy Playdate video games with restricted technical experience.

All in all, the Playdate, with its colourful design and monochrome Game Boy vibes, continues to seem like an intriguing little machine that harks again to the halcyon days of handheld gaming. The video games look stunning, however there’s nonetheless little or no indication how they’ll play or how lengthy they need to preserve somebody’s consideration with so many different distractions available. Still, the pedigree is there, and it could simply be quirky and accessible sufficient to draw tasks from new and underserved builders. I’m trying ahead to seeing what Panic and its artistic companions have to supply when Playdate is lastly in our fingers.


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