A Playdate Update stream is airing on March 7


Cranking out the news

Panic is hosting a new Playdate Update next week, to share news about its crank-based handheld. The showcase will be held on March 7, airing at 9 a.m. PT / 12 p.m. ET.

The Playdate. if you’re not familiar, is Panic’s specialty handheld. It’s roughly similar to the Game Boy, but with a literal twist: its crank. On the right-hand side of the handheld, there’s a crank that can be manipulated, and that Playdate developers have used to create some pretty wild games.

This new Update will specifically share news about the Catalog, Panic’s curated on-device and on-web store for Playdate. The company will also be sharing some news about new games.

A new twist

When the Playdate launched last year, it was an interesting concept. The hardware twist wasn’t the only one Panic had for the Playdate; the game rollout for the Playdate was also fairly unique. It rolled out new games to Playdate owners as part of its “season,” with a new game hitting the device each week after purchase.

It’s cool, but obviously users will look for more games once they’re finished with the initial roll-out. A good community has sprung up around creating games, hosted on sites like Itch.io, where they can be purchased and then side-loaded. Panic has also kept the Playdate a fairly open platform, with tools like Pulp making it easy for aspiring developers to tool around with making their own creations.

All that said, I’m now curious to see what Panic has in store for the future of Playdate. I like the handheld, even though I haven’t picked it back up in a while. It’s the sort of specialized electronic device that feels rarer and rarer these days, and the community backing behind it gives its catalog a certain charm. We’ll see what Panic’s got in store on March 7.

Eric Van Allen
Senior News Reporter