Indie app developer Panic is best known for its fun and useful Mac and IOS software, but the latest venture is definitely out of the box. Built on the success of the platform game Firewatch, as it published, the team builds a handheld video game system called Playdate that is as fun and quirky as Panic's iconic app icons: It's yellow, retro Game Boy charm, and has a model T Ford-style tissue.
Panic says the device "fits perfectly in your pocket" and is built "from scratch" right down to Playdate OS, a full-featured SDK support C and Lua development, and a Mac based simulator and debugger. Instead of a color screen, Playdate sports "a black-and-white screen with high reflectivity, a crystal clear picture and no backlight." It also has a headphone jack. And did we mention their tissue?
Panic says the tissue will contribute to the gameplay. For example, the first title is literally called Crankins Time Travel Adventure, and will use the tissue "to control the flow of time, backwards and forwards."
Also innovative is the way the game is delivered. Instead of buying games through a digital store front, Playdate will automatically deliver games over the air "once a week for 1
There are many other things we do not know about Playdate as well, including specifications and sound, whether there will be purchases in the app, whose titles will be exclusive to the platform, or whether the tissue will be required for gameplay. We also don't know how long the battery lasts (although we know it uses USB-C to charge). But from what we see so far, Playdate is certainly an exciting device from a developer with a fantastic track record, but hardware and software are two completely different animals.
Playdate will cost $ 149 and due to the release in early 2020 with Pre-orders starting later this year.