New details on hand crank-equipped Playdate gaming console + upcoming pre-E3 show

Playdate

Remember that quirky little Playdate handheld gaming console we featured last year? Well, it’s finally ready to hit store shelves after a series of delays alongside a completely new slate of launch titles and internals. Made in collaboration with equally as unique boutique tech brand Teenage Engineering, the mini hand crank-laden handheld looks as though it’s actually about to see the light of day with a launch presentation scheduled for next week. More details below. 

New details on enhanced Playdate console

Initially debuting in 2019 followed by delays and some early details regarding a 2020 launch, Playdate was bumped back again to 2021 (likely due to COVID-19 and subsequent development issues). But now creator Panic is ready to share more details about the odd little handheld gaming console. 

While we will have to wait until the now scheduled June 8, 2021, presentation for a full blow out here, we do have some details on the now upgraded internals and launch titles. 

Previously slated to hit with 12 of its own seemingly proprietary titles — indie devs like the Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi and Zach Gage are already signed on — Panic has now doubled that number to 24 with more details slated to hit next week. 

The miniature yellow console is also getting some internal enhancements by way of a doubling in storage, likely to support the now larger “season 1” worth of games, from 2GB up to 4GB. 

This enhancement and expanded game library will, however, come at a cost. The Playdate handheld was supposed to launch at $149.99 with 12 games and the 2GB of storage, but it’s now expected to go up for pre-order some time after next week’s presentation for $179, according to reports. Here’s what Panic had to say about it all:

We’ve all been quietly working nonstop to get all the complex pieces of the Playdate puzzle into place, and at last we’re ready to show you what we’ve been up to… There’s a lot of amazing things being created here that will hopefully add a bit of joy to your life.

And here’s a quick look of a previous version of DOOM (among other titles) running on the hand-crank equipped Playdate console. 

More details and pre-orders starting next week

More details are on the way as the company has now announced a Playdate Update presentation just ahead of E3 2021 on June 8, 2021 at 12 p.m. ET. Here’s your full E3 2021 event schedule

9to5Toys’ Take

We really can’t wait to see what developers will do with that odd title hand crank, especially with new IP as opposed to some of the ports we have seen thus far. It seems like it might be hard to get a pre-order in during the initial phase, but it also looks like early orders won’t actually go up directly after the presentation, so stay locked to the Playdate Twitter page for updates thereafter. 

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