The Playdate is a new handheld gaming console reminiscent of the original Nintendo Game Boy by Panic Inc., a company responsible for publishing Campo Santo’s Firewatch game and several MacOS software.
Panic’s new handheld comes in a little yellow package with a black and white screen, a quaint d-pad, two face buttons, and a pause button, as well as Bluetooth capability and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Introducing Playdate, a new handheld gaming system from Panic.
It fits in your pocket. It’s got a black and white screen. It includes a season of brand-new games from amazing creators. Oh and… there’s a crank???? https://t.co/WiIPUkpjSq
Yes. A thread… pic.twitter.com/47BwSOtiiP
— Playdate (@playdate) May 22, 2019
What distinguishes the Playdate from other handheld consoles is that it features a cute gimmick in the form of a tiny crank, which puts a unique and fun spin on the way games are going to be played on the device.
It will also boast games developed exclusively for the console from the likes of indie devs such as Keita Takahashi (Katamari Damacy), Bennett Foddy (Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy), Shaun Inman, Zach Gage, and many others.
The Playdate will launch with a three-month season pass of sorts, with Season One slated to arrive with 12 exclusive games. One of those games has already been revealed, and it’s Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure by Keita Takahashi, in which players assume the role of stickman Crankin’ who controls the flow of time to get to his date with Crankette.
However, the most interesting part of it all is that the new console is actually made at a factory in Sungai Petani, Kedah, Malaysia. This fact was confirmed by Panic’s own David Hayden on Twitter.
Yes, in Sungai Petani! Our production consultant recommended a factory he works with there, and they’re a great fit for this project. We’ve visited a number of times over the last year and have totally fallen in love with Malaysia. Wonderful people! Incredible food!
— Dave Hayden (@davehayden) May 25, 2019
According to the official website, the Playdate is slated to launch sometime in early 2020 at a price of $149 USD or RM642. Panic has yet to confirm if the new console will be shipped worldwide or only in selected regions.