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Playdate Handheld Video Game System from Panic


Company: Panic
Available: Early 2020
Price: $149 USD

Oregon-based software developer Panic has created Playdate, a retro-modern, handheld gaming system that pays homage to the original Nintendo Game Boy. The Playdate features a 2.7-inch, black-and-white LCD with a resolution of 400 x 240 pixels., a D-pad, and chunky A and B buttons. The near-square (2.9 x 3-inch) handheld also comes equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a USB-C port, rechargeable battery, and a headphone jack, all in a very thin (0.35-inch) footprint.

The design pièce de résistance is a funky hand crank on the side of the unit. The crank acts as an optional input device for gameplay. Speaking of games, Panic plans to offer games for the Playdate in twelve-week seasons. A new, original game will be released weekly and automatically downloaded to the device via Wi-Fi. A light at the top of the Playdate will flash to alert the owner of the presence of the next gaming installment.

The Playdate is slated to ship in limited quantities in 2020, with pre-ordering opening up later this year. The unit will check at $149 USD, which includes the first twelve game season.

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