After a bit of silence, Panic has come in with a new update about the Playdate console the company is developing. This is the diminutive handheld with a monochromatic screen, two action buttons, a D-pad, a crank, and a plan to gradually roll out its included games to players. While the retail version still has a 2020 launch window, developer versions have been confirmed.
The Playdate preliminary systems are being referred to as the Playdate Developer Preview. These will be development units that won’t include any games. Their purpose will be to test games people have developed to ensure they are working properly. These will be sold on the site in a raffle-like form, with all able to order, but Panic randomly selecting which people will actually be charged, sent the SDK, given support forum access, and sent a preliminary Playdate.
As a reminder, the actual Playdate will have 12 confirmed games. Each one is on the system when you get it, but they unlock over a 12 week span. Each week, you get a new one. 360, Bennett Foddy Presents Zipper, Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure, and Executive Golf will all be present. In addition, this update confirmed Panic will have a new and improved crank on the final system that will be stronger and could be fixed by an owner with hex screwdrivers.
The thing about the launch is that the Panic update doesn’t pin down when in 2020 the Playdate could arrive. The initial announcement suggested an early 2020 release window for the $149 device. This latest update only says 2020.
Playdate is in development and will be released in 2020.