Introducing Playdate, The Handheld System With a Crank

Could this be the Game Boy of the 21st century?

May 23, 2019

A quirky and interesting looking new handheld gaming device called Playdate has just been announced by software developer and game publisher Panic. The device is small, yellow, fits in your pocket, and has a grey crank attached on the side, that can be used to play games. Some games will be played exclusively with the crank, and some won’t use it at all, but according to the handheld’s website, it’s still “Extremely fun.” The Playdate also includes your standard A and B buttons, along with a D-Pad, USB-C, and a headphone jack.

Crank it up

The system will feature twelve new video games, some of which are made by game design veterans like Bennet Foddy, Keita Takahashi, Zach Gage, and Shaun Inman. These games are being kept secret as of now, but the website tells us that “Some are short, some long, some are experimental, some traditional. All are fun.”

The Playdate shall also be receiving one new video game every Monday via WiFi. The twelve games in “Season One” will be included at no extra charge, and will be delivered to the system one by one for a few months.

The people behind the Playdate are called Panic. They have been a software developer for over 20 years and recently dipped their toes into game publishing, giving us games like Firewatch, and an upcoming Untitled Goose Game. They are calling Playdate their celebration of the video game, and promise many more updates and surprises to come.

This is clearly a passion project for them, having been in development for four years. The Playdate is set to ship in early 2020 and will cost $149. Hopefully Panic will continue to support it for more “Seasons” if the handheld does well.

Jum Jum

Jum Jum


When I was a child, I cared about three things more than anything, and they were video games, entertaining people, and the crazy frog song…I was not a smart child.



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