The handheld video game business has been dominated by Nintendo since the days of the Game Boy. Sony had a fair crack at it, but has since pulled out of the portable market. With Nintendo now dominating the handheld video game arena all by itself with the Switch, it has left us wondering if anyone else will step up.
Enter the Playdate – a new yellow coloured device created by the Oregon-based software and video game company, Panic. If you’re not familiar with the name, this company recently started publishing games. The first one it helped out with was Firewatch and it’s also handling the upcoming release Untitled Goose Game.
The Playdate includes a control pad, an A and B button, a 2.7-inch black and white high-resolution screen, wi-fi, Bluetooth, a USB-C port, rechargeable battery, headphone jack, and a crank. The crank puts a “whole new spin” on games and some titles will even use the crank exclusively.
One of these is Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure, a game created by Keita Takahashi, best known as the designer of Katamari Damacy. Other designers include Zach Gage (Ridiculous Fishing), Bennett Foddy (VVVVVV, Ape Out) and Shaun Inman (The Last Rocket).
Included with this hardware is a game service. Playdate users will receive 12 games over 12 weeks. These games will range from short, long, experimental to traditional. Panic promises it won’t end there, either:
And there’s so much more to come. Playdate is alive with possibilities and surprises, future games and new ways to make them. We’ll have even more to talk about at launch.
As for the price, it’ll cost $149 (about £118) and will include the first 12 games. The device is scheduled to arrive early on in 2020. For more information, visit the official website and sign up to the email alerts.
What do you think of the Playdate? Share your thoughts below.