Playdate is a Brand New Video Game Handheld Featuring Exclusive Games by Keita Takahashi, Bennett Foddy, and More

Playdate is a Brand New Video Game Handheld Featuring Exclusive Games by Keita Takahashi, Bennett Foddy, and More

It also comes with a hand crank for some reason.

Video game publisher Panic has done something that's not too common these days: announce a new video game console. The Playdate is a new handheld from the publishers of Firewatch that looks like a Nordic-designed Game Boy, but with a hand crank.

Panic is a Portland-based software company that recently stepped into video game publishing. It began with Campo Santo's Firewatch and the company will publish Untitled Goose Game later this year. In a Twitter thread announcing the Playdate, Panic revealed that as a self-funded company, it wasn't impossible to imagine products beyond just software and games.

So the company got to work on a handheld game console. The studio eventually brought product engineering darling Teenage Engineering to help with the final design. The result? A yellow slab of metal that plays games. It has a D-pad and A and B buttons, but also a small hand crank courtesy of Teenage Engineering.

The crank doesn't power the device (it's charged by USB-C) but is instead another control input for games coming to the device. Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi is one of the game developers with a game on the Playdate that specifically uses the hand crank. You can see a preview of Crankin's Time Travel Adventure below.

Other developers with games on the Playdate include Bennett Foddy, Zach Gage, and Shaun Inman. The Playdate has wi-fi and Bluetooth capabilities, and will download 12 new games from various creators, with one new game released each week. Playdate says these 12 games are part of season one, suggesting future seasons are in the works.

Playdate will be available for pre-order for $149 and will ship in early 2020. Pre-orders aren't live yet, but you can check the Play.Date website to sign up for a notification for when the pre-orders go live. While $149 isn't cheap, the Playdate looks to be a considered piece of design and a perfect gift for friends into game pieces that double as artware.

Sometimes we include links to online retail stores. If you click on one and make a purchase we may receive a small commission. See our terms & conditions.

Matt Kim

News Editor

Matt Kim is a former freelance writer who's covered video games and digital media. He likes video games as spectacle and is easily distracted by bright lights or clever bits of dialogue. He also once wrote about personal finance, but that's neither here nor there.

In other news

Hello Games Teases New No Man's Sky Update Called Origins

It'll be "the beginning of something new," studio founder Sean Murray says.

Superbrothers Delay Jett: The Far Shore to 2021, Pushing Back Another PS5 Holiday Title

Before Jett lifts off, the Sword and Sorcery EP makers say they need more time.

The Second Player Goose in Untitled Goose Game Has a New Honk

There are also some subtle visual ways to tell the two naughty geese apart.

A Speedrunner Already Beat Spelunky 2 In Just 6 Minutes

C'mon man, it's only been out for a few hours!

Need help?

Stardew Valley Guide - Essential Tips to Help You Become the Ultimate Farmer

Everything you need to know to go from rags to riches in Stardew Valley.

Disco Elysium: How to Find All Four Pieces of the Fairweather T-500 Ceramic Armor

We show you how to find the hanged man's armor hidden across Martinaise.

How Long Is Disco Elysium and How Many Days Are There?

We take you through the length of Disco Elysium and how many days the game covers.

Disco Elysium: How to Find Your Gun, Badge and Bullets

We show you how to find your pistol and police badge ID after losing them.