27 May 2021
The much-awaited hand-held gaming console Playdate is finally set to go on pre-orders in July 2021. The announcement was made by the US-based company Panic in its latest update video. The console was first introduced to the world in 2019 but due to delays, mainly related to the global COVID-19 pandemic, it could not go on sale until now.
Playdate is a small-sized Yellow-color console that resembles those 8-bit gaming consoles from the past. It has a D-pad on the left side and A+B buttons on the right side. It sports a Black and White 1-bit display with 400 x 240 pixels resolution. There is a Cortex M7 processor clocked at 180MHz coupled with 16MB of RAM and 4GB of flash storage. The device measures 76 × 74 × 9 mm in dimensions making it quite portable.
The console has a mono speaker as well as a stereo headphone jack. There is support for both 2.4GHz WiFi and Bluetooth. The unique thing about the console is that it has a clank on the right side. Panic says this clank will not work with all the games but whatever titles it will support, players will have fun using it.
As for video games, Playdate users will get two free games each week for a period of 12 weeks. It means they will get access to a total of 24 games and all of them will be exclusive to the console. The team is referring to this whole game rollout scheme as Season One. You can check out the names of 21 of those games in the image below:
Panic has priced the Playdate at $179 which also includes the aforementioned Season One package. The package will also have a Yellow-colored USB Type-C to USB Type-A cable. The Playdate pre-orders will go live in July but an exact date will be revealed one week earlier.
It also showcased a charging dock called Playdate Stereo Dock. It is meant to charge the Playdate console but the way it has been designed and developed, it can also be used as a Bluetooth stereo speaker and a pen holder. The best part is that when the console is placed on this dock, the overall appearance makes it look like a small television set. Panic is yet to reveal pricing and availability details for the dock.