playdate update (6.8.21)

A few years back I remember hearing about the playdate handheld console (by Panic). When I first saw this tiny yellow device I thought it sort of looked like a compressed Game Boy and was going to be a Game Boy emulator. It was not that at all.

The playdate is something completely new featuring a high contrast black and white display and its own unique library of games. Something else that sets the playdate apart from any other handheld console is it’s side winding crank. During the first reveal of the playdate I don’t remember them showing the crank in use, but I was very intrigued by it.

We didn’t receive too much information back then, but we had enough for me to decide that I most definitely needed one of these in my life.

playdate updates

Yesterday, after almost two years of silence the playdate has emerged once again with the official playdate update presentation. This time we got enough new information to confirm that — Yes, I still really want this thing! And I can hopefully get one in my hands very soon — like next month soon?

stereo dock

The first update was the new playdate Stereo Dock which does a lot more than you would think a dock can do. Most docks are a place to display and charge your device.

Like the docks before it the playdate Stereo Dock doubles as a cozy magnetic stand and charging station — but that’s not all… It also works as a stereo speaker to enhance your gaming experience and can be used as a Bluetooth speaker. The Poolsuite FM app will be accessible on the playdate and useful for listening to some hot summer tunes on the Stereo Dock.

The dock makes a nice decorative piece for your desk or any area, but the most important feature is that the dock also works as a pen holder — nice yellow pen included!

playdate cover

We didn’t hear much about the playdate cover but it was briefly shown during the presentation and afterward on the website. This cover is a very important accessory for a handheld console that you can fit almost anywhere, including your pocket. The playdate itself does look pretty tough and sturdy, but I would still get the cover for safety.

games games games

Games will come to the playdate in the form of seasons. Every week a new game (or games) will drop. Season 1 was first said to feature one game per week for a total of twelve games, but yesterday they announced that they would be doubling that. Two games per week for twelve weeks, for a total of twenty-four games!

While Season 1 is included with the purchase of a playdate at no extra cost, there was no mention of Season 2 or what comes next. I would imagine that each season after Season 1 might be sold as DLC or a new Season Pass. That was not talked about though so I could be wrong.

Below are twenty-one of the games to be released during Season 1:

Season 1 Games: 
Casual Birder • Crankin's Time Travel Adventure • Demon Quest '85 • Echoic Memory • Executive Golf DX • Flipper Lifter • Forrest Byrnes: Up In Smoke • Hyper Meteor • Lost your Marbles • Omaze • Pick Pack Pup • Questy Chess • The Racheteer • Sasquatchers • Saturday Edition • Snak • Spellcorked • Whitewater Wipeout • Zipper • Boogie Loops • Battleship Godios

We also heard from Kim Belair, CEO of Sweet Baby, Inc who has worked with many big game studios and will be helping others bring more games to the playdate.

Lucas Pope (creator of Return of the Obra Dinn) also showed off his next title, Mars after Midnight, exclusive to playdate. He basically showed some crank usage and then said something like, “That’s what I got so far.” Although it isn’t much I’m still excited to see what he “cranks out!” (Get it?)

playdate pulp

I’m extremely excited to find out more about playdate pulp, a place where anyone can create a game for the playdate using only their internet browser. I feel like we are going to see so many great (and not so great) fan-made games for this handheld console. I have always had a dream of creating a video game myself and this seems like it may be the perfect opportunity.

one more thing…

When it comes to these pre-recorded hype videos there is always “One More Thing.” It’s expected like an end credits scene in any Marvel MCU movie. In this case there were a few more things. First, the playdate will be priced at $179 and will be available for pre-order next month, July (with a one week warning). You can sign up for an email notification at play.date.

The second cool thing is that the playdate won’t sell out after certain amount of pre-orders. They plan to keep the pre-order window open and send these things out as they become available. This could mean that some late adopters may not receive their playdate for months (even years). That’s ok though because you can also cancel your order before it has shipped.

Keep an eye on @playdate Twitter
and the website: play.date

You can watch the entire presentation right here:

I don’t know what exactly it is about the playdate, but I do know that I must have one. I will most definitely be pre-ordering one on day one.


Although this presentation wasn’t officially part of E3, I’m going to include everything that happens this week and next week in my E3 news category — although I’ve broken it up into E3 2021 and Unintentional E3 2021. This presentation would fall under the second category.

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