Sometimes we know about products in advance, and sometimes they just look out of blue. No one knows where they come from or why they exist ̵
From what we know so far, Playdate is a super cute handheld game device with many hidden little features including a handheld!
What is Panic?
Panic is not usually a hardware company. It is a software company. undoubtedly best known as a co-publisher of the indie game, Firewatch beat. It also helps publish Untitled Goose Game, an upcoming hidden title where you play a goose that will mess with people.
According to Panic, there is a company that is "self-financed and there is no one to tell us what to do" so the question was asked on Twitter : "Why don't we try more new things?"
Now that you have a company that has thought you get one of two things: something fun or skynet. Fortunately, we didn't get a worldwide AI.
What is Playdate?
Playdate is a new handheld game system, but some of the small details are a mystery. It plays games, we know it, and it has a small black and white screen where you can play these games. This is not a Switch competitor and you should not play Fortnite on it. Panic said users will be able to play simple but engaging games that come out every week, as a new cartoon. Which games will be released is also a mystery.
This feels very much like the old shareware games from the 80s and 90s where you want to subscribe to a magazine and get a fun new game with every new edition. Now Panic said that all the games should be shipped with handhelds at launch – it's not a subscription that only has that feeling – you won't be able to play them all on the first day. It's a fun idea that would make "New Game Day" a joy. Considering that handhelds will cost $ 149, the subscription is built right.
How does Playdate look?
It looks like an industrial control box, but in a good way. The split ring nails on each corner give it a very solid feel, and the speaker grille adds to the industrial look. We are uncertain about the building materials, but it seems to be made of plastic. It is incredibly small, measuring at around 74-by-76-by-9mm with a 2.7-inch display.
Technically, and from checking out the threads, it seems that the Playdate will be charged via USB-C. It also has a 3.5mm headphone jack so you can play privately with the headphones. The rest of the handheld sport, a power button on the top, a D-pad and two game buttons, as well as a mysterious button in the top right corner. I'm going to guess that's the menu button? It also has what I think is a microphone under the USB-C slot.
Oh, and it also has a tissue.
Wait, you said a tissue?
Yes! No, it doesn't lose the device – it's left for earthly battery power – but instead it's a unique style of controller. As you can see from the tweet below, the tissue can be used to control some of the different games – not everyone will use it, according to Panic. In the example, called Crankins Time Travel Adventure, you use the tissue to control a robot traveling through time. With the tissue, you slow down the time so that the butterfly, which probably hurts, can fly overhead safely.
Here's a look at one: Crankins Time Travel Adventure, from Keita. It's fun and fun. pic.twitter.com/0Ibwqr5k3I
– Playdate (@playdate) May 22, 2019
The weave was the idea of the team Panic asked to help it do Playdate, Teenage Engineering.
What about the games?
Due to the black and white, apparently low resolution screen, the games have a fantastic retro feel to them, reminiscent of the original Game Boy by Nintendo. We haven't seen much gameplay so far, but Panic has brought in more designers to work on 12 games for Playdate. This will be season 1, and owners will not be charged extra for them.
The first game to be released is the previously mentioned Crankin's Time Travel Adventure, designed by Keita Takahashi, the main brain behind Katamari Damacy. According to Panic, other games have been designed by Bennett Foddy, Zach Gage (SpellTower, The Getting Over It iOS Gateway) and Shaun Inman (The Last Rocket).
This adds to the excitement I feel. That means every New Game Day will give us a new game that is totally unique to the game that came before it. Variety is important if you want something to succeed, and it seems Panic knows it.
I want it now!
So we do, but we can't have that yet. You can sign up to receive information about it from Panic and it will be available in "early 2020" and will cost $ 149.
As Panic notes, $ 149 is not cheap, but it is not expensive either. For something that is clearly fun, unique and exciting, I think $ 149 is a good price to pay.