Seasoned software developer Panic (Best known for publishing Firewatch and their work with Mac OS) has announced their latest project, a handheld console with a unique controller that’s hitting the market in early 2020.
Playdate features a non-backlit black and white screen that’s reminiscent of the original Nintendo Gameboy. It also includes A & B face buttons and a small hand crank attached on the side. Unfortunately, the crank doesn’t power the console, although it would’ve been a nice gimmick.
From what can be seen in the small amount of gameplay available the crank can control the game world in unique ways. A perfect example of this is in “Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure” where the hand crank can be used to control time.
Moving the crank clockwise moves the game forward and moving it anti-clockwise moves the game backwards. Something interesting to note is that the faster the crank is turned, the faster the speed up or reverse effects are.
Panic has announced that games will be being released in seasons, with one game a week across a 12 week season. All but one of the first season’s games are planned to be kept entirely under wraps until release.
Although we don’t know much about the upcoming titles, Panic has teased that they approached a handful of famous game developers (Keita Takahashi from Katamari Damacy and Getting Over It’s Bennett Foddy) and asked them if they wanted to make games for the handheld.
Panic’s Playdate seems to be an exciting new and innovative handheld console that will be making its debut in early 2020 and will set you back $149 with all of the first season’s games.
Panic has stated that supply will be “very limited” at release but would be interested in shipping many more depending on the console’s popularity.