PlayPanic, the company behind the upcoming Playdate gaming device, hosted a YouTube live stream detailing additional information about its upcoming handset. Playdate will feature 24 games in its first season, all of which are platform-exclusive, and will be available for pre-order in July for $179.
The original Playdate was announced in 2019 as a big step forward in Panic’s gaming arena. Originally a Mac and iOS software developer, Panic has expanded into gaming by publishing hit titles like Untitled Goose Game and Firewatch. The Playdate was the company’s first hardware product, and most notably it featured a crank as part of the controller.
The Playdate Update video has revealed some new details about the upcoming handset. Panic has introduced a new Playdate stereo dock it calls “the first Playdate accessory”. It acts as a magnetic dock, charger and Bluetooth speaker for the handset.
Playdate games will be released in seasons, starting with 24 games in season 1 – double the number the company previously announced. All season 1 games will be free to Playdate owners, and games can be kept forever. Two games are automatically ported to the handheld each week over Wi-Fi.
The live stream featured very brief previews of some of season 1’s games. Crankin’s Time Travel Adventures exclusive use of hand-held hand-crank attachments, Lost your marbles is a visual novel that deals with manipulating the trajectory of a marble, and Saturday Version is a detective adventure game that appears to go back to the era of point and click adventure games.
Return of Obra Dinn creator Lucas Pope is also developing a title for the handset called Mars after midnight. Panic also hinted that there will be “pleasant surprises” for Playdate owners during the season.
Panic also announced Pulp, a game development tool similar to Bitsy. Pulp is a browser-based game maker where Playdate owners can use a GUI and simple scripting language to create and export their own Playdate games. It will be available later this year and is free for all users.
Handset will be available for pre order in July for $179. One week’s notice will be given before pre-orders open, although the company plans to keep them open indefinitely.