It’s real, and there’s a crank.
Talk about unexpected. A lot of focus is on next generation hardware, from the PS5 and next Xbox, to potential Switch revisions. But seemingly out of nowhere, a new piece of hardware has been announced, something that I can honestly say I doubt anyone expected. It is a new dedicated handheld device called the Playdate, and it’s… interesting.
The new device comes by way of Panic, the publisher behind 2016’s Firewatch. You won’t be playing the newest Call of Duty on the Playdate, however. It’s aiming to do something entirely different from other systems on the market. It will come with 12 as of now undetailed games in a ‘season.’ You will automatically download one game per week after release. The company says they want it to simulate waking up to discover a new game every week, and will also open the possibly of more games down the line.
It’s not the only thing unique about the system. There’s no analog stick, only a d-pad, two buttons and… a crank. Apparently not all the games will use the crank, but some will in some way that isn’t made clear (since all the games are a secret as of now). You can find out more details on the website and look at the video below to see how small the system is, and what the crank is like in action.
The Playdate will release sometime in 2020 for a suggested retail price of $149. Panic also assures this isn’t part of a viral marketing campaign, it’s a legitimate device.
Oh yeah, the crank! No, it doesn't power the device. It's a flip-out rotational controller that puts a fresh spin on fun. Some games use it exclusively, some use it with the d-pad, and some not at all. pic.twitter.com/XYW97nLZKK
— Playdate (@playdate) May 22, 2019