Playdate’s price is going up next month
Panic hosted a new Playdate Update today, spotlighting news for the crank-controlled handheld. The Catalog, a digital storefront for the handheld console, is going live today alongside a batch of new games. And Panic also confirmed that starting next month, the price of the Playdate will get cranked up a bit, from $179 to $199.
While the Playdate is still rolling out to those who pre-ordered, Panic confirms that no one who has a pre-order will see their price tag go up. Additionally, Panic is waiting a month to move the price up, so you have until April 7 to secure an order at the $179 point.
Panic co-founder and CEO Cabel Sasser attributes the hike to manufacturing costs. While the CEO says there have been some price increases in the past and Panic’s margins are already “surprisingly slim,” this was the one cost increase the team couldn’t avoid.
Additionally, the previously announced Playdate Stereo Dock has been MIA, but Sasser says the team is still working on it.
Cranking open the Catalog
Aside from the hardware news, there was also software news for the Playdate today too. Originally, the Playdate launched with a plan to roll out a “season” of games to owners. Additional games are open to side-load onto the Playdate from places like the Itch.io store, as well. Today, Panic opened up a third option: the Playdate Catalog.
The Catalog is a storefront for the Playdate where, after tying in your credit card info, you can literally crank to buy new titles. (Or just use the website, but come on, the crank is more fun!) Two games are out today, and free to celebrate the Catalog launch: Reel Steal, a fishing-based thieving game, and Recommendation Dog, a game about a dog managing a temp agency.
More games are already headed to Catalog for purchase too, including pre-established Playdate hits like Bloom and A Joke That’s Worth $0.99. While the price tag bump is an understandable wrinkle, it’s nice to see Panic getting a ready-on-the-console storefront option for those who don’t want to tinker with side-loading. It’s also an easy way to see how far Playdate development has come in the last year or so.