Everything you need to know about the Playdate


The Playdate is a portable game console designed to be pure enjoyment. It is pocket-sized, bright yellow, and has a crank on the side to control certain games. Many games have been developed exclusively for the Playdate, with its high contrast display and unique form factor.

Have you looked at the Playdate and wondering if you want to buy it? We’ll tell you everything you need to know about this exciting handheld: who makes it, what games it offers, what the tech specs are, and more.

What is the reading date?

The Playdate is a portable game console that fits in the palm of your hand. It is unlike any other console on the market and offers many new and exclusive games.

Think of it as a complementary device to that of the Nintendo Switch, PS5, and Xbox Series X. It isn’t designed to compete with those, nor anything high end like the portable Steam Deck from. Valve. If you’re old enough to remember Game & Watch, you might think of the Playdate as something like this.

Related: PS5 Vs Xbox Series X: The Specs Battle

The Playdate has a fun design. The device itself is bright yellow, while the screen is black and white and highly reflective. When the console is asleep, the screen turns into a clock. On the front you will find a directional pad and a few buttons.

playdate on the cover

Image Credit: Panic /Tap the play date

But best of all? On the side of the Playdate is a real physical crank. The crank does not load the console. Instead, it turns around and is used to control certain games.

For example, in a game called Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure, you use the crank to move the main character back and forth in time. Not all games use the crank, but it will definitely add something different to those that do.

Who makes the play date?

The Playdate is made by Panic, a software company based in Portland, Oregon. It was founded in 1999 and has long been known primarily for macOS software like Audion, Transmit, and Nova.

More recently, Panic has released video games, including the popular Firewatch and Untitled Goose Game.

For Panic, the Playdate is the next step; production of a physical game console. The company designed it in collaboration with Teenage engineering, a Swedish electronics manufacturer.

What games does the Playdate offer?

Each Playdate comes with 24 free games, which are delivered to the system two at a time each week from the time you set up the console.

Seasoned developers have written these games specifically for the Playdate. Titles include Casual Birder, Pick Pack Pup, Lost Your Marbles, Sasquatchers, and Whitewater Wipeout.

date games

Other games are in development (including a title from Lucas Pope, the man behind popular games like Papers, Please), although how Panic will distribute them is currently not announced.

Can you develop games for the Playdate?

If you are developing games or want to start doing it, Panic makes development for the Playdate as easy as possible.

Although currently unavailable to the public, you will be able to get the Playdate SDK for free. This is the complete development environment for Playdate, available for PC, Mac and Linux. It includes the Lua and C APIs, as well as a local development simulator.

If that’s too much of a hassle for you, Panic is also planning to release something called Pulp. It is a browser-based no-code alternative to the SDK, which allows you to create games using click-and-place functionality.

date read in box

Image Credit: Panic /Tap the play date

There will also be full reference documentation, a developer forum, a bitmap font editor for Playdate fonts, and more.

To keep up to date with the latest information, visit the develop for the Playdate site.

What are the technical specifications of the Playdate?

Here are the technical characteristics of the Playdate:

  • Drums: 14 day standby clock, 8 hour activity
  • CPU: 180Mhz Cortex M7
  • Display: 400×240 1 bit black and white high contrast
  • Cut: 76x74x9mm
  • Storage room: 16MB RAM, 32KB L1 cache, 4GB flash memory
  • Ring: Built-in mono speaker, stereo headphone jack, condenser microphone and TRRS microphone input
  • Wireless: 2.4 GHz 802.11bgn Wi-Fi, Bluetooth

In terms of buttons and controls, on the front of the console there is a directional pad, A and B buttons, and a sleep and menu button. Of course, there’s also the crank on the side, which pulls out when you need it. The Playdate also has a three-axis accelerometer.

Where can you buy the Playdate?

If you want to buy the Playdate, you need to order directly through the Playdate Store.

The console costs $ 179, plus shipping, taxes, and duties. Due to the complications of worldwide distribution, the Playdate only ships to certain countries, so check the store directly to see if it ships to you.

In the box, you get the Playdate itself, a user guide, and a yellow USB-C to A cable (which you use to charge the console.)

You can also purchase a magnetic folding purple blanket for $ 29. Buy it with the console and save $ 9.

playdate stereo docking station

Image Credit: Panic /Tap the play date

In the future, you will be able to purchase a Playdate stereo docking station. Not only will this hold and charge your Playdate, it will also double as a Bluetooth speaker and pen holder… and it even comes with a pen! That basically sums up the fun and craziness of the Playdate.

Currently, 20,000 consoles are ready to ship in 2021 (all sold out), with an undisclosed amount designated for 2022. The sooner you order your Playdate, the sooner you’ll receive it, so don’t hesitate too long if you’re impatient. to get hold of one. Panic acknowledged that there is a slight chance that some consoles will ship in 2023, and you don’t really want to wait that long.

There are many reasons to love the Playdate

If you’re looking for a fun kit that offers something unique, consider purchasing a Playdate. It might not revolutionize the game, but it will definitely bring you joy.

Whether it’s the charming look of the console itself, the unique games, or the wacky crank, there are plenty of reasons to love the Playdate.


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