Inside the gaming industry, it’s quite rare to find a new console other than Sony’s Playstation, Microsoft’s Xbox, or Nintendo Switch. While these big three names stand at the top of the most famous console in the world, it makes not that many companies have the bravery to invent a new gaming handheld. But not the case with this quirky little fella – meet Playdate.
The console is Firstly introduced on May 22nd, 2019 on the Verge Magazine website, introducing its feature and design that… for me, looks so simple and yet beautiful at the same time. And the crank, I can’t stop looking at them. Seriously.
Back then, the console isn’t ready to be released because they need to make sure the console is ready to be released to the public. Then, that day finally comes. On April 18, the Playdate is released to the public without any changes since the first introduction. Really happy about that.
You can watch the video:
Its Retro Design
In terms of design, it becomes one of my favorite far from the console is released recently. The Playdate console is created in a rectangle shape, wrapped up in a matte bright yellow color, with white circles on the buttons, and the metal bolts on the three corners and the crank of course.
As it takes retro as the theme, the Playdate slightly resembles the old school Nintendo GameBoy but this one comes in a totally bright yellow color, especially the buttons instead of black. And instead of being bulky, the Playdate looks so slim! You can put it in your pocket and you won’t gonna notice it’s there.
Going on the Playdate’s display, it used a monochrome 400x240p 1-bit display, in a 74x76mm case. Featuring Bluetooth and built-in Wifi, as well as Mono Speaker on the top, on the right side of the screen. It also got a 3.5mm headphone jack for your headset and don’t worry, it’s a stereo one 🙂
Because it’s a portable console, the Playdate also comes with a battery with a quite long battery life. Mentioning 14days standby clock and 8 hours active. Quite long for a retro-looking handheld right?
The Crank And The Game
Playdate has a unique feature, and it’s the main one. The Crank. This one isn’t a gimmick, it has the functionality to play all the games that you can get for the console. Speaking about the game, you will get 24 original Playdate games that are delivered weekly, and the Playdate website says it’s included in the price that you pay. Each of the games uses all of the control that Playdate has, especially the crank. Mentioning some games as examples include Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure, Lost Your Marbles, Hyper Meteor, and Executive Golf DX.
Price And Availability
The price for the Playdate Handheld is $179 and it’s included USB-C to USB-A cable (must be for charging if I can guess), the console itself, and more than 20 games. As mentioned on the Playdate website, these games will be given weekly without any extra charge. The price doesn’t really include the shipping though, it will have the extra charge.
According to Verge, the new order of the Playdate won’t be shipped until next year in 2023. So, be patient (I will need it as well).
Based on Playdate Youtube Video above, there is another gadget that will be released in the future. It’s called the Stereo Dock, a boxy-shaped Stereo speaker which can house and charge your Playdate handheld and… a place for your pen. Fortunately, it seems the speaker will include a nice pen if you buy one… and of course when it is officially available as well.
Another new accessory is the Playdate Cover which, unlike the speaker, is available for you to buy. It comes in the color purple and is able to protect Playdate in a nice way.
Playdate is sure a fun console. In the middle of the battle between Playstation and Microsoft (while Nintendo Switch is sitting in the corner and sipping lemon tea), Playdate is sure one of the new fresh things to have. With the retro design and retro-monochrome game, it surely will catch the eye of every people who love some old-school stuff. Although some people might not be a fan of its black and white display, for me, it’s a great thing to have.
Will look forward to those Stereo speakers (and the pen as well).