In case you missed it, publisher Panic held its first Playdate Update last week, and it was fantastic. This is basically the company’s showcase series for the device. It gives them time to explain everything they want to about what they’ve been working on. Think of it like a State of Play event, but fr a very specific console. After last week’s event, I’m even more excited for this device than I was, because we’ve got so many more details about it to talk about. In this article, I want to run through why I’m excited about it so that you can jump on the bandwagon.
Playdate was announced a couple of years ago through Edge magazine. It’s a device from a game publisher that’s basically a retro handheld console. However, so far it will only play games built specifically for it. There’s a unique coding suite called Playdate Pulp that will release later this year, and it allows anyone to make games for it. You can build it yourself as you can a game in Dreams, but I think this will be a lot simpler. The console has two buttons, a D-pad, and a crank. The crank is used in every game, and it adds a level of depth that most games don’t get, even though all of the games for the console will be small.
Right now, we have no release date, but the console goes up for pre-order in July. It’ll be $179, which is up there in the more expensive region of handhelds, but it’s worth it for the games you get. This comes with the first full season of games. 24 individual titles, with two delivered to the console per week. After that, there will probably be a subscription model for future seasons, but nothing is certain right now.
This console is doing everything right. You get games over seasons, they’re all indie titles, and they all focus more on being enjoyable than they do on being appealing to the masses. This is the console where you’ll find the true passion projects, those games that are being made because someone can’t contain themselves. That’s the main reason I’m excited for it, and I hope you are now too.