Longtime iOS and Mac developer Panic is known for their software Transmit and also gaming title Firewatch, but now they've announced something completely new: a handheld gaming system.
Called Playdate, it looks like a tiny Nintendo GameBoy, with its d-pad, B and A buttons, but it also sports a hand crank on the right side, to add a new control element to games.
"Panic says," We reached out to some top game designers, like Keita Takahashi and Zach Gage and Bennett Foddy and Shaun Inman. We showed them Playdate and asked, "Want to make a game for it?" Then we lost our minds when they said "Yeah!"
Playdate will cost $ 1
“What are these games? Here's the thing: it's like keeping them secret until they appear on your playdate. We want to surprise you. Some are short, some long, some are experimental, some traditional. All are fun, ”says Panic.
The handheld's design was from electronics manufacturer and partner, Teenage Engineering from Sweden. The software is custom designed by Panic. Hardware specs are coming to be but now being described as "beefy."
Here's a peek at one: Crankin's Time Travel Adventure, from Keita. It's fun and funny. pic.twitter.com/0Ibwqr5k3I
– Playdate (@playdate) May 19, 2019
Panic says they worked on Playdate in secret for four years. The 2.7-inch reflective Sharp LCD display is black and white with a resolution of 400 × 240 (4x the original GameBoy), but “has no grid lines, no blurring, is extremely sharp and clear,” when compared to the Nintendo GameBoy display
Panic has no detailed which countries will sell Playdate in yet, but did say an SDK will be coming soon for developers to write games for the handheld. Most likely it will be available in the USA at launch and hopefully Canada at some points, too.