Playdate handheld 01

The Playdate handheld is just as adorable in person

It looks great next to other handhelds too

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Portable gaming is constantly evolving. We have mobile devices making a big dent in the market, and Nintendo famously shook the entire industry up with a console and portable hybrid device. Then there’s the Playdate, which is doing something else entirely. Recently we were given access to the highly anticipated Playdate handheld, which is still slated for a release sometime in 2022.

Right now, all we can talk about is what’s in the box, so let’s do that. Here’s what you get:

  • The Playdate itself
  • One USB charging cable (USB C to A)
  • A quick paper insert with basic instructions

In terms of what’s boxed it’s pretty much all you need, and the insert is fairly self-explanatory. There’s a power button on the top to wake the unit up for the first time (and from sleep mode), a d-pad, two buttons (B and A), a crank (which is like an extended “button” and is used to control games), and a menu button in the upper-right-hand corner.

The size of the Playdate clocks in at 76 × 74 × 9 mm: it’s relatively small! But given how everything is spaced out, not to mention the crank, my hands don’t feel scrunched when I hold it. The color scheme is stark, and allows it to stand out even among some of the extreme banana-colored handhelds of the ’90s.

As a reminder, the device is $179, and you can still pre-order it for a 2023 target late shipment. There’s also a $29 magnetic folding cover you can buy as an add-on.

Expect a bigger rundown of the Playdate next week!


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Managing Editor - Chris has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step in January of 2009 blogging on the site. Now, he's staff!