Panic Inc and Teenage Engineering have come together to create a new handheld console, and it's got a crank on it.
It's always a big deal around here when somebody goes and releases a new mobile platform, be it a new handset, or even a new console. It's the latter today as Panic, best known as the publishers of Untitled Goose Game and Firewatch, have teamed up with sound-engineering whizzes Teenage Engineering to create the Playdate.
It's a banana yellow square with a crank attached to the right-hand side, three buttons on the fascia (A-B and what appears to be a mute button), a simple power button on the top, and a headphone jack and USB-c port on the underside. The casing design is heavily reminiscent of the Teenage Engineering efforts, with the yellow shared with a few of their products. The Playdate has both WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities, and multiplayer is possible, although not planned for the first wave of games.
It's a lot of technology squeezed into a diminutive package. While it's definitely a cool, memorable design, platforms require more than design to survive, they require games. Playdate's games are all delivered via WiFi as part of 'seasons'.
Each season lasts for twelve weeks, with a new game delivered via WiFi every week. Every week, for 12 weeks, the Playdate will update, adding a new game to the console library. Each game is platform exclusive, and the current line-up includes work from the likes of Bennett Foddy, Zach Gage, and Keita Takahashi.
Takahashi's game is up first: Crankin's Time Travel Adventure. You control the game only using the crank, moving the character backward and forward to evade objects which are out to sabotage Crankin's dates with Crankette.
The elephant in the room remains the price point of the Playdate, it is expected to open for preorder later this year with the price currently looking to be $149. For a handheld console which we do not truly know the capabilities of — which may end up with twelve experiences on it — this seems a very high barrier of entry, especially if the price for further seasons is lofty.
You can find out more about Playdate on its website, we'll be sure to be keeping an eye on this one too.If you're looking to be kept up to date with the latest news then check out our news section.