Retro-styled Playdate handheld gets a price bump, but it’s justified


What just happened? Panic’s upcoming Playdate handheld console – the one with the crank – is getting a price hike. But, the developer has seemingly justified the elevated cost with a couple of noteworthy incentives. Now all we need is a firm launch date.

On its official Twitter account, Panic said the final price of the handheld will be $179, which is up from the originally quoted price of $149. The system will ship with twice as much internal storage as previously stated (now 4GB) and there will be twice as many games available as launch (24 instead of the original dozen).

The Playdate team has also scheduled its first-ever video update. With it, the company will provide additional details about season one games, future titles and information on pre-orders.

The update will air on YouTube on June 8 at 9 a.m. Pacific. Worth mentioning is the fact that pre-orders will not start immediately after the video premieres. “We’ll give you plenty of warning before it’s go time,” Panic said.

Panic’s Playdate first crossed our radar in mid-2019 and piqued our interest thanks to its unique blend of old school cool and out-of-the-box thinking. The handheld, complete with clever crank mechanism, was originally scheduled to ship in time for the 2020 holiday season but got pushed back into 2021 due to the pandemic. Hopefully we’ll learn more about a firm ship date in next week’s video update.


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