Today is the day. If you’ve been waiting for Panic’s upcoming retro yet not so retro Playdate console, pre-orders open from today. They’ll be going live at 10 AM PDT, which is 6 PM BST, so you still have a good chunk of time to finish work or school, get home, open up the pre-order page, and wait for a few hours for them to go live. This is a day that you really need to be on top of your game for. The pre-order system is fair, but it’s still going to cost you if you’re late to get to it.
The way pre-orders for this console work are that they will never go down. The website will take all pre-orders, all the time. However, orders will be fulfilled on a sliding scale. The initial run of about 20,000 orders will be sent out in late 2021. That’s pretty great, and when you should expect to get yours if you’re quick off the mark. Any orders after that will be sent out at some point in 2022. There’s no definite date on these yet, so I imagine it’ll be a sliding scale of the next 20,000 being sent out in early 2022, then a batch in mid 2022, followed by late 2022, and on it will go until the pre-orders stop coming.
This is a much better way of offering pre-orders than any of the consoles we’ve seen in recent months. The PS5 and Xbox Series X/S launches were a shambles, though Sony definitely messed theirs up more. Scalpers are rife in this industry after lockdown last year, and even the Steam Deck seemed to be hit by them. What I hope we see with Playdate is a much fairer system. After all, it’s a retro device that’s going to have a much more niche appeal than any other games console.
If you really want a Playdate, take this pre-order date seriously. Get your order in today and as close to 6 PM BST as you possibly can. It’ll help you get the console you want on time so that you can be one of the few to enjoy the first wave of them. If not, you’ll be looking at this as a present for the new year.