Games News

Panic unveil Playdate handheld, slim, compact and has a crank

Panic Inc.
Playdate by Panic Inc.
 Panic Inc.
Playdate by Panic Inc.

Panic Inc. aren't exactly famous for hardware but that may soon change as the Oregon developer announced Playdate, a slim and compact handheld that actually comes with a crank on the side. No, not for charging - it's for gameplay.

"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", the official description reads.

As you can see, it's a classic Game Boy-like layout with a D-pad and two buttons, all in a yellow matte finish.

Playdate has a 2.7-inch black-and-white screen with a 400x240 resolution. In case you're wondering, Game Boy's display was 2.6 inches with a resolution of 160 × 144.

To make sure Playdate comes with a selection of quality games, Panic reached out to indie designers like Keita Takahashi, Zach Gage, Bennet Foddy and Shaun Inman.

Playdate will get 12 brand new video games, one each week, and the dev actually wants to keep them a surprise until you've received them.

"Some are short, some long, some are experimental, some traditional. All are fun. When your Playdate lights up with a brand new game delivery, we hope you can't wait to unwrap your gift", they wrote.

The crank is not a joke - it's actually integral to some games, such as Crankin's Time Travel Adventure. In fact, the said game doesn't even use buttons, and it looks ridiculous and fun at the same time, which should be a good sign.

Panic worked with Teenage Engineering on the design and the latter are said to be responsible for the crank.

Playdate ships in early 2020 and will cost $149, with the 12 games included in the cost of Season One.

Panic Inc.Playdate by Panic Inc.
Playdate by Panic Inc.

Panic wrote that the stock "will be very limited", but we suspect that if the test run is successful, we'll see much more of Playdate. The dev promised more information as we draw closer to launch.

You can learn more on the official website here.