Playdate. © Panic.
Panic is a funny little company. Its creators established themselves thanks to their smart utilities for macOS developers, like the Transmit FTP client and the Coda text editor. Next, they conquered iOS with Prompt, an SSH client. Then, they launched into the realm of gaming – hey, why not? – with Firewatch, which set the gaming world on fire. Today, they have unveiled a nice little surprise: a cute little gaming console (74x76x9 mm) called Playdate, with a 2.7-inch, 400x240px, black-and-white LCD display (no backlighting) and… a crank! And no, it’s not a battery charger, but an actual controller. For example, in Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure, created by Keita Takahashi (designer of Katamari Damacy), you turn the crank this way and that to travel forwards and backwards in time. Playdate requires no cartridges – games load via Wi-Fi and come in “seasons”, i.e. one game per week for 12 weeks. Some are short, some long, some experimental, and some traditional. The first season is included with the purchase of the console (USD150). Playdate’s design is the result of a collaboration with Swedish designers Teenage Enginering, the creators of the OP-1 sythesizer. Panic has developed its own operating system, Playdate OS, and game creators can use their Lua and C developers kit, which includes a Mac emulator and a debugger. Playdate should be available in early 2020.
⇨ Mashable, “Playdate is one very adorable handheld gaming system.”