Panic, known for its thoughtful Mac and IOS apps, has announced its entry into the hardware market with a portable gaming system called Playdate, which will be shipped in early 2020 and costs $ 149. This is not Panic's first priority in the gaming industry. With the release of the hit-indie game Firewatch in 2016, the company became a gaming publisher. Later this year, Panic will publish the highly anticipated Untitled Goose Game on the Nintendo Switch. Still, creating hardware is something completely different for Panic.
Playdate is a small handheld device with hardware and software features that distinguish it from any other handheld on the market. The bright yellow handheld system is only 74mm × 76mm × 9mm, which is about three inches square and slightly thicker than an iPhone XS.
One of the most noteworthy aspects of the Playdate design is a tissue that nicely engages one side of the device, an idea developed by Teenage Engineering, a Swedish company that worked with Panic on Playdate design and engineering. The tissue is not for charging Playdate. The tissue is a controller ̵
Another characteristic feature is Playdates screen, which Panic describes as a premium black and white display. The screen is a highly reflective Sharp 2.7-inch black-and-white screen with a resolution of 400 x 240. The PlayDate screen is not backlit, which will probably help extend battery life. Playdate also features a D-pad, A and B buttons, a pause button, a speaker, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, a USB-C port, and a headphone jack. Other specifications such as CPU, RAM and storage will be discussed at launch.
Playdates hardware is not something that is available on the market, and Panic says the device is not meant to compete with other handheld systems either. Instead, the goal is to supplement existing systems for the times between, using other devices to play a game.
This message seems to have resonated with independent game developers because Panic has announced an impressive selection of game developers who are stock games exclusively for Playdate. These developers include Keita Takahashi, Zach Gage, Bennett Foddy and Shaun Inman.
As part of today's announcement, Panic has revealed one of the first dozen Playdate games: Crankins Time Travel Adventure, by Keita Takahashi, creator of Namcos Katamari Damacy. The game, which you can watch at PlayDate's site, demonstrates the use of the game in games to move the game's main character back and forth over time.
A total of 12 games, which Panic calls a season, will be released with Playdate at no additional cost. The games will be delivered weekly to the device over WiFi and announced with a flash of a light on top of the Playdate. Other than Crankin's Time Travel Adventure, each game will be a surprise. If you buy a Playdate mid season, all season games will be available to you as well. Panic says that it will have more to say about future seasons at the launch.
Games run on Playdate OS, a custom operating system created by Panic for the device. The company has also built a SDK for developers who support C and Lua, as well as a Mac based simulator and debugger. Developers interested in making games for Playdate are encouraged to contact Panic at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Playdate is a dramatically different direction for Panic to take. It is surprising, but also exciting. Although I have not had the opportunity to try Playdate, it is clear that many thoughts and care have entered the design. Furthermore, there is no hardware built in the hope that it will be adopted by developers. Panic has lined up big names from the world of independent games, which have made some of my favorite mobile games. I'm not jumping aboard with pre-release hardware projects easily, but for something like Playdate from a company with Panic's spelled reputation and procurement from established indie game developers, you can count me. I can't wait to get my hands on Playdate.
Playdate $ 149 is scheduled to be shipped in early 2020 in limited supplies, which will be met on a first-come, first-served basis by those who register their mailing list at stake. day.