Panic is a company known for developing apps for iOS and macOS, today announced plans to enter the hardware market with the launch of Playdate, a handy little games console with a black and white screen. It looks fantastic.
Announced on Wednesday, Playdate comes with a few unusual quirks. Playdate features a unique design with a black and white display, d-pad, A+B buttons, and a crank on the side that’s designed to be similar to an analog stick.
Playdate uses a 2.7-inch, 400×240 black-and-white screen, features a d-pad and two face buttons, includes the hand crank controls, will feature twelve brand new games, and is set to be released sometime in 2020. Teenage Engineering partnered with Panic to design its signature crank.
The device measures 74 × 76 × 9mm, with a 2.7-inch display. It comes with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a headphone jack, and a USB-C port for battery charging. The games are being designed by the likes of Keita Takahashi (Katamari Damacy), Zach Gage (SpellTower), Bennett Foddy (QWOP), and Shaun Inman (The Last Rocket).
The Playdate is a highly portable device that will sell for $150. The website describes the games as a mix of long, short, experiential, and traditional. These are delivered once a week “over-the-air.” Players will be notified when a flashing light delivers a new game on their device. Right now, Panic plans to leave most games unannounced and instead have players discover them when they are delivered each week.