Thursday, July 22nd 2021
It's a new, tiny handheld game system with a bunch of brand-new games. We made Playdate just for fun.
That's not all. We're lining up more games, and we're working on cool ways to distribute them. Stay tuned.
You will also be able to make your own Playdate games, as our SDK – coming soon – will be free to download, no special hardware required. And with our Pulp game maker, all you need is a web browser. And side-loading games directly onto the Playdate is easy.
Battery: 14 days standby clock, 8 hours active
CPU: 180 MHz Cortex M7 SDK supports Lua, C
Storage: 16 MB RAM 32 KB L1Cache 4 GB Flash
Size: 76 × 74 × 9 mm
Included: Playdate USB-C to A Cable User Guide
Wireless: 802.11bgn 2.4GHz Wi-Fi Bluetooth®
Sound: Built-In Mono Speaker Stereo Headphone Jack Condenser Mic + TRRS Mic In
Display: 400 × 240 1-bit
Inputs: D-Pad A + B Sleep + Menu 3-Axis Accelerometer Crank
Cost: $179 Plus Taxes & Shipping
That bias contributes in some part to my interest in the Playdate, a $179 portable gaming system that errs on the side of childish, low-powered fun. I've spent three weeks testing the system's "near-final" hardware ahead of preorders opening up on 1 pm ET on Thursday, July 29, and I can confirm that it's indeed fun to look at. Luckily, it's also fun, simple, and accessible to hold, play with, and share with every friend that I can.
It looks kind of like a Game Boy that comes from an alien world. There are familiar elements, like a D-pad and face buttons, but many of its games are controlled by a crank that slots into the side. And those games are only available in black and white, and they’ll eventually be released as part of weekly mystery drops.
Updated on Monday, Nov. 1st 2021