Playdate pre-orders are now live (Update)

Set the date for your Playdate

[Update: Pre-orders for the cranky handheld Playdate are now live on the Play.date shop. Head on over there if you’re eager to grab one!]

Our original story follows:

Playdate, the tiny handheld with a crank produced by Panic, will go live for pre-orders on July 29 at 10 a.m. PT.

The video game system will be available for pre-order as either a standalone for $179, or bundled with the Playdate cover for $199. (The Playdate cover will also be available for pre-order at $29.) Pre-orders will go live on the Playdate site.

Panic’s Playdate was announced a few years ago as a new handheld system with a special crank and selection of games arriving for it. Recently, the team announced a slew of games arriving on the handheld system, including titles from Keita Takahashi, Bennett Foddy, and Lucas Pope. Panic also confirmed it will be releasing a stereo dock for the Playdate as well, complete with a neat little pen and music app called Poolsuite FM.

Panic confirmed in a press release today that Playdate pre-orders will not sell out. The first batch of units will begin shipping towards the end of the year, with subsequent orders after selling through the initial allotment shipping in 2022 and production adjusted based on demand. Playdate pre-orders will require full payment up front, but can be cancelled at any time for a full refund.

There will also be a podcast series debuting next week called the Playdate Podcast from Panic, featuring behind-the-scenes interviews with game developers creating things for the Playdate.

The handheld, crank-utilizing Playdate certainly looks like an interesting piece of hardware. Alongside the system, Panic will be rolling out a season of games that will download directly to the Playdate, effectively making “play dates” out of update days. As someone who grew up carting around a Game Boy everywhere and who also digs bespoke, unique systems like this, I’ll probably set a few alarms.

Playdate pre-orders will go live on July 29 at 10 a.m. PT on the Playdate site.

Eric Van Allen