Today marks the day you can reserve a Playdate, the strange yet cute handheld by Firewatch and Untitled Goose Game publisher, Panic. If the device has garnered both your curiosity and your attention, make sure to have your wallet ready in a couple of hours.
Pre-orders are set to begin at 10:00 am PT on the Playdate’s website. The system costs $179 and includes the handheld, the first batch of 24 downloadable games (delivered weekly), and a USB-C to USB-A cable. You can also reserve the Playdate covering case for $29 or purchase a bundle with both the case and the handheld for $199.
If you can’t be there right when the gates open, don’t worry. Panic has already assured customers that it will continue taking pre-orders after today. Those who reserve sooner will get their devices earlier is all. Panic has not yet revealed the Playdate launch date but it’s tentatively scheduled to begin shipping later this year.
If you missed out on Panic’s deep dive presentation last month, here’s what the Playdate entails in a nutshell. The small device allows players to play simple, downloadable only games on a black and white screen. It sports a familiar button layout as well as a big crank that serves as a form of analog stick. Batches of games, labeled seasons, download automatically to the device at two games per week with 24 original titles in Season One. The titles themselves come from indie developers big and small, with Return of the Obra Dinn creator Lucas Pope working on an original Playdate title.
The Playdate serves as a boutique item meant to offer more novel experiences as opposed to being a “premium” handheld in the vein of, say, the 3DS. It’ll be interesting to see how it performs and, of course, how the games themselves turn out.
Will you be picking up a Playdate? Let us know in the comments!