Panic has announced that the Playdate, its $179 handheld console with a crank and a black-and-white screen, will be available to preorder in July with shipping starting later in the year. The company doesn’t have a specific date lined up just yet but says it’ll provide at least a week’s notice before orders open.
Panic is doing its best to avoid a PS5/RTX 3080-type stock situation by implementing its own ordering system. “The sooner you order, the sooner you’ll get one, but we’re not going to close the door on you,” says co-founder Cabel Sasser in a video update.
The company is also announcing an adorable stereo dock accessory for the Playdate, which makes it look like an old TV and works as both a Bluetooth speaker and a pen holder. Panic hasn’t given pricing or release information for the dock yet.
“Don’t worry, Playdate shouldn’t sell out on pre-order day,” said Panic co-founder Cabel Sasser in the video. “Our plan is to keep orders open and send Playdates out gradually as we get them from the factory. Of course the sooner you order, the sooner you’ll get yours, but we’re not going to close the door on you.”
Panic also revealed a unique accessory, just in case the core concept wasn’t unusual enough for you. The company will be selling an optional charging dock that charges Playdate and doubles up as a Bluetooth speaker and pen holder. You can see the pen sticking out the top (yes, it comes included).
Finally, Panic has announced 21 out of the 24 titles that will feature in the Playdate’s first “season.” Details are intentionally being kept secret until each game is automatically downloaded onto the device; owners will get two games a week over 12 weeks.
Here are title screens for all 21 games:
And here’s the list of games and their developers:
- Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure by uvula (Keita Takahashi, Ryan Mohler), Matthew Grimm, and Shaun Inman
- Battleship Godios by TPM.Co Soft Works.
- Casual Birder by Diego Garcia with music by Max Coburn
- DemonQuest 85 by Alex Ashby, Lawrence Bishop, Duncan Fyfe, Belinda Leung, and Jared Emerson-Johnson
- Echoic Memory by Samantha Kalman, Everest Pipkin, Carol Mertz, and Rachelle Viola
- Executive Golf DX by davemakes
- Flipper Lifter by Serenity Forge
- Forrest Byrnes: Up in Smoke by Nels Anderson and Christina “castpixel” Neofotistou
- Hyper Meteor by Vertex Pop (Mobeen Fikree, Robby Duguay, and h heron)
- Lost Your Marbles by Sweet Baby Inc. & Friends
- Omaze by Gregory Kogos
- Pick Pack Pup by Nic Magnier and Arthur Hamer with music by Logan Gabriel
- Questy Chess by Dadako
- Ratcheteer by Shaun Inman, Matthew Grimm, and Charlie Davis
- Sasquatchers by Chuck Jordan with music and sound by Jared Emerson-Johnson
- Snak by Zach Gage with art by Neven Mrgan
- Spellcorked! by Jada Gibbs, Nick Splendorr, Ryan Splendorr, and Tony Ghostbrite with music by A Shell in the Pit (Em Halberstadt)
- Zipper by Bennett Foddy
- Saturday Edition by Chris Makris with music by A Shell in the Pit (Gord McGladdery, Alfonso Salinas)
- Whitewater Wipeout by Chuhai Labs (Giles Goddard, Mark Lentz, Peter Traylor, Hero Liao, Remy Thor, Charlie March, Kensaku Nakata, Zach Aikman, Mihoko Terao, and Kinsey Burke)
The Playdate has had a long road to market. It was first announced in May 2019, and we got our first look at the console itself the following month