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Playdate System Fully Revealed, Pre-Orders Set For July

All The Games You Can Crank

Playdate

Ever since its announcement back in 2019 many of us have been waiting for details of Panic’s unique cranking handheld. Today they lifted the veil on the Playdate, showing off accessories, games, and providing a timeline for release.

Pre-orders for the Playdate will start in July. The system is priced at $179 before taxes and shipping. The plan is for the first of their 20,000 unit initial order to arrive in late 2021. Units will ship as they arrive, and more will be ordered if needed. There’s no need to worry about getting in quick, they don’t plan to cut off orders as long as there’s demand.

Playdate

In addition to the system, your purchase also will get you season 1 of games. This will include 24 games, released two per week for 12 weeks. Panic revealed 21 of these games today, all of which are available to view on their website. You can also view the full reveal with these games at the bottom of this page.

Highlights include Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure from Keita Takahashi, creator of the Katamari series. Bennett Foddy has a new game called Zipper coming to the system. Popular indie developer Zach Gage is bringing a game called Snak. Whitewater Wipeout, a surfing title from Chuhai Studios, makers of the recent VR title Carve Snowboarding, is also on the way. That’s just a small taste though, check out the video below to see most of season one in action.

Playdate

New games aren’t the only thing coming. Two studios of developers have also been formed to make games for Playdate. These teams, going by Sweet Baby Inc will make narrative focused games, developed by creators from marginalized communities. The goal is to give up and coming developers real, paid, experience. One of their games, Lost Your Marbles, is a visual novel marble game which looks very cool. It will be part of season 1.

Even beyond season 1 however more games are coming. One of these called Direct Drive seems to be based on controlling a record player and looks very cool. The longest look we got at any of these was a sneak peek at Mars After Midnight, a new game from Lucas Pope, creator of indie titles Return of the Obra Dinn and Papers, Please. Will future games also be grouped in seasons? Panic promised more details at a later time.

Playdate

Even beyond the games, Panic revealed some new options for the Playdate. For those wanting to make games, every unit doubles as a development kit. They also revealed Playdate Pulp, a browser option that lets you make your own games from a web browser. A little coding knowledge will be needed but this is definitely a unique way to get into development.

Panic revealed a pair of accessories as well. A flip cover to protect your unit will also be available for pre-order in July for $29. The Playdate Stereo Dock drew more focus. This magnetic dock will charge your system and work as a bluetooth speaker to enhance the system’s audio. To enhance the value of this, an included app called Poolsuite FM promises to include summer music to lift your spirits. The dock will also act as a pen holder and even comes with a Playdate pen.

There are a lot more cool games on the way and you can view a lot of them in the video below. Will you be ordering a Playdate? Let us know what coverage of it you’d like to see below!

Andrew Thornton
Andrew has been writing about video games for nearly twenty years, contributing to publications such as DarkStation, Games Are Fun, and the E-mpire Ltd. network. He enjoys most genres but is always pulled back to classic RPG's, with his favorite games ever including Suikoden II, Panzer Dragoon Saga, and Phantasy Star IV. Don't worry though, he thinks new games are cool too, with more recent favorites like Hades, Rocket League, and Splatoon 2 stealing hundreds of hours of his life. When he isn't playing games he's often watching classic movies, catching a basketball game, or reading the first twenty pages of a book before getting busy and forgetting about it.

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