Remember game developer Panic’s fun game handheld Playdate? The palm look siphone looks similar to the yellow “Game Boy” and the highlight is the hand-wand on the side of the body, which provides a very special gaming experience. The handheld has not been available to gamers and collectors interested since its launch in May. But Panic, which today released a dynamic update, said early potential users are still expected to be in hand by 2020.
But before that, the company had offered the handheld to some of its lucky developers to develop games for it. Any developer interested in this can submit a request to Panic, but given the small number of devices currently available, the company will randomly select some developers to send the handheld.
Playdate is very compact, only 74 x 76 x 9 mm. The screen is 2.7 inches and looks a bit like the iPod Nano that doesn’t stretch proportionally. Although there is no backlight, Playdate’s black-and-white screen reflects.
In terms of handling, this handheld console offers a cross-point key, an A/B function key, and a back-and-forth rocker on the right – you can think of it as an analog rocker that can be rotated endlessly. Cabel Sasser, founder of Panic, says they want to create a product that’s different in the video game world. Judging by the bright yellow look, it’s really a little too friendly to be irresistible.
Despite the humble look, Playdate actually supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and the headphone jack. It runs on Panic’s custom operating system and can even be charged via a USB-C port (the battery life is unknown).
Playdate is understood to have been created by Panic in partnership with Sweden’s Teen Engineering. The latter is known for its beautiful synths, so you can rest assured of the quality of the rocker.