Slated for a late 2019-early 2020 release, Playdate is a brand-new handheld video game system that’s quite different from anything you may have ever seen before.
What’s unique about it?
The controls. While it’s got the usual d-pad, A+B buttons, pause button, etc. But it also has a crank – a rotational analog controller that flips out from the side and puts a new spin on games.
The screen. It’s got a black and white screen. It has no backlight, but it’s super reflective. It’s an aesthetic like no other. Measuring 2.7-inch (68mm), the screen is a unique, black-and-white, low-power LCD from Sharp, with a resolution of 400 × 240. According to the manufacturer, Panic, tis is no limitation.
“On the surface, it might be tempting to compare the screen to, say, the Game Boy, says the company in a press release. “But Playdate’s display is quite different: it has no grid lines, no blurring, is extremely sharp and clear, and has much higher resolution. It sounds odd to say, but: it’s truly a “premium” black-and-white screen.”
The season. Playdate is not just a platform, it’s a complete experience: 12 brand new games, delivered over time, directly to the device.
Playdate’s games have been created by some of today’s most exciting indie developers, including Keita Takahashi, Bennett Foddy, Shaun Inman, Zach Gage, and more.
The games will remain a surprise until delivered to your device. One of the benefits of purchasing a Playdate early is that you’ll play the season in sync with the other first-buyers. You’ll be the first to know when new games are released, and the first to experience them. Once a game is downloaded to your device, you can play it at any time.
Set to cost $149, the package will include the Playdate device, a USB-C cable for recharging the device, and a season of games.
Founded in 1999, Panic started making software exclusively for the Mac, including Audion, a now-discontinued pioneering MP3 player, Transmit, a file transfer client still going strong, and Coda, a professional web development IDE. Later, Panic added iOS software into the mix to complement their Mac tools. A brand-new version of Coda for the Mac is slated to arrive later in 2019.