Panic, the makers of the Playdate handheld console (yeah, the one with the crank), held an interesting update presentation today.
This presentation covered a wide range of Playdate topics, but had a big focus on new games.
Which is obviously the most exciting news that any Playdate owner can look forward to.
Well, if you happen to be one of the few who actually own a Playdate – good news! You can now grab eleven new titles today.
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The new way to access games for your Playdate is the new online store, which they are calling “Catalog”.
This is Playdate’s curated store that runs directly on the Playdate.
Catalog will be a part of your Playdate OS once you update to the latest firmware.
Two free games are available right now and nine other games are available for purchase in the Catalog.
Obviously, we can expect many more games in the future.
And you can still find a lot of games by independent developers on itch.io as well.
Playdate Stereo Dock
The presentation did have a short focus on the previously announced stereo dock for the Playdate. And yes, the stereo dock is still coming!
In fact, they showed us that a box of beta docks arrived at their offices just recently.
So if you were one of the people excited about that awesome looking dock… fear not… it’s still happening. It will just be a bit later than expected.
Playdate Price Rise
Another bit of news from Panic was that the Playdate will be raising its price from $179usd to $199usd.
Existing pre-orders will not be effected. And they also plan to keep the price at $179 for one month to allow people to order at the original price. So that’s pretty cool of them.
But the price will increase on April 7th nonetheless.
Unfortunately, the price rise doesn’t really help get the Playdate into more hands. And it seems that it may always be a very niche product.
It’s a bit of a shame, because you have some really interesting games being created by new creatives.
But the exposure and actual play that those games can expect to get is quite small compared to releasing an indie game on Steam or the Nintendo Switch store.
The Playdate presentation had a big focus on some of these cool new games. And I really hope that the teams behind these games are getting the kind of love they deserve.
We really love the thought behind the Playdate.
It’s just some of the details of the actual build that has us slightly hesitant to recommend it.
And, of course, the price and availability also keeps it in that niche category.
It is a pretty cool little console, made for hardcore retro game fans with a bit of spare cash and a comfortable place to play handheld games with really strong ambient lighting.
In a perfect world, we’d love to see a Playdate in the hands of every gaming fan.
But for now, it remains a bit out of reach for most.
Watch the full Playdate update presentation here:
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Anthony has been a video game lover ever since he can remember. He became a fulltime nomad in 2018, living throughout most of Asia. He focused his passion in retro gaming and began creating a game for the Game Boy Color while living in Nara, Japan during the 2020 pandemic. He is now in Chiang Mai, Thailand, where he spends most of his time gaming, going on long walks and meeting as many stray dogs as possible.