Playdate Handheld Game System

Posted: July 23, 2021
Playdate Handheld Game System
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What's old is new again. The Playdate handheld game system will officially debut this year, with preorders beginning on July 29, 2021. Unlike Nintendo's own Switch (itself coming out with some shiny new upgrades) the Playdate seems all about paying tribute to the OG Game Boy. Its case, albeit blinding yellow rather than chill gray tones, incorporates the familiar A + B buttons and d-pad, and living inside the Playdate's wee screen? A 400 x 240 1-bit display in full, glorious...black-and-whiteness. With no backlighting.

According to Playdate maker Panic, this latter, uh, curiosity, "looks way more amazing than you're probably imagining," and the screen is "super reflective" to facilitate play in both dark settings and bright sunlight.

At 76 x 74 x 9 mm (about 3" x 2.9" x 0.4") Playdate is easily pocket-sized for gaming on the go. And it does incorporate some modern-day features into its retro shell, such as a 180 MHz Cortex M7 CPU, Wi-Fi connectivity, Bluetooth, and a loudspeaker. When the Playdate isn't in use it becomes a low-power clock. Oh, and it has a hand crank on the side.


Panic says the crank isn't a gimmick, but an analog controller that gives you more precision in playing some of the Playdate's growing library of games. Those who purchase a Playdate will automatically receive 2 new games every week for 12 weeks. Panic will also make their SDK free to download for gamers who are also makers.

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