Panic Announces Price and Pre-Order Window for Playdate Handheld

Pre-orders will get cranking next month.

Panic hosted its first Playdate Update video showcase to share new information on its upcoming handheld device. The 15-minute digital presentation covered various Playdate news, including a first look at the games launching as part of its first season of games, pre-order information, and a look at the device’s first accessory.

Playdate is truly a one-of-a-kind gaming handheld system. It’s yellow, small enough to fit in your pocket, and features brand-new games not found on other systems. It has a lovely black-and-white screen. And, yes, it has a freaking crank. The crank isn’t meant to charge the device, but to be a part of gameplay to flip around and move as a means of input. Not all games require the crank, however. Originally, the company set the device to launch with 2GB of storage and 12 games allotted for season one, retailing at about $179 USD. Now, according to Panic, it will be doubling the storage capacity and games for season one (so 4GB instead of 2GB and 24 games instead of 12). 

The previous set of 12 games were meant to release weekly, once a week for 12 weeks. Now, all 24 games will be released in pairs for 12 weeks. Basically, double the fun. All games released in season 1 will be: 

  • Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure — by uvula 
  • Casual Birder — by Diego Garcia 
  • DemonQuest ‘85 — by Lawerence Bishop, Alex Ashby, Duncan Fyfe
  • Echoic Memory — by Samantha Kalman, Everest Pipkin, Carol Mertz, Rachelle Viola
  • Executive Golf DX — by davemakes
  • Flipper Lifter – by Serenity Forge 
  • Forest Byrnes: Up In Smoke — By Christina “castpixel,” Neofotistou, Nels Anderson 
  • Hyper Meteor — by  Vertex Pop
  • Lost Your Marbles — by Sweet Baby Inc. & Friends
  • Omaze — by Gregory Kogos
  • Pick Pack Pup — Nic Magnier, Arthur Hamer
  • Guesty Chess — by Dadako 
  • The Ratcheteer — by Shaun Inman, Matthew Grimm, Charlie Davis 
  • Sasquatchers — by Chuck Jordan 
  • Saturday Edition — by Chris Makris 
  • Snak — by Zach Gage 
  • Spellcorked! — by Jada Gibbs, Nick Splendorr, Ryan Splendorr, Tony Ghostbrite
  • White Water Wipeout — by Chuhai Labs
  • Zipper — Bennett Foddy
  • Boogie Loops — by May-Li Khoe and Andy Matuschak
  • Battleship Godios — by TPM . CO SOFT WORKS.

In other news:

Alongside game announcements, Panic also announced Playdate Pulp, a new tool to help people who don’t know how to code create their own games. It’s a browser-based tool created and designed by Panic that is a click-in-place game editor (with no or minimum coding) and allows you to upload it onto your Playdate. 

Panic also announced the first accessory for Playdate. The Playdate Stereo Dock is an all-in-one stand for the handheld, featuring a charger, Bluetooth speaker, and even a pen holder. The dock even has a Playdate Cover, which aligns itself with the screws on the handheld device and attaches magnetically. It will be available for pre-order in July alongside the Playdate itself and retails for $29. 

“We’ve all been quietly working non-stop to get all of the complex pieces of the Playdate puzzle into place, and at last we’re ready to show you what we’ve been up to,” says Cabel Sasser, co-founder of Panic.

Playdate will be ready for pre-order in July, and Panic will give a week’s notice before you can preorder them. There will be no limit on how many preorders Panic will be taking, keeping it open on a rolling basis. However, Panic says on Playdate’s official website that its first manufacturing order will include 20,000 units for 2021. The company will determine further manufacturing based on pre-order volume, but anything beyond those 20,000 systems will be arriving in 2022.

Panic was founded in 1999 in Portland, Oregon, as a Mac app developer and remains so today, but it has also evolved into a focused video game publisher, assisting in the release of Firewatch, Untitled Goose Game, and the upcoming interactive food game, Nour: Play With Your Food


Je'nae Singh

Hello to all queens, kings, and non-binary royalty! My name is Jae and I am the Editorial Intern at Fanbyte for the summer. I am a connoisseur of all things horror and games. I've been playing games since a wee toddler and my first real game was Silent Hill: Shattered Memories. I love connecting with folx from different backgrounds and navigating conversations around intersectionality and gaming. Hope you enjoy what I create!

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