Playdate, the quirky new handheld with a black-and-white screen and a crank on its side created by Panic and co-designed with Teenage Engineering, will be available for preorder starting Thursday, July 29th at 1PM ET / 10AM PT. You’ll be able to secure a unit through the site play.date for $179. It’ll start shipping later this year in select countries, though the company still doesn’t have a concrete release date for the portable device. You can also preorder the Playdate Cover accessory that can protect the device for $29. If you preorder, you’ll be charged immediately, but Panic says you can cancel at any time for a full refund.
Panic co-founder Cabel Sasser shared last month in a video update that “the sooner you order, the sooner you’ll get one, but we’re not going to close the door on you.” So, even if you’re a bit late to ordering, at least you won’t have to panic to get Panic’s Playdate. According to Panic, the first 20,000 or so units will ship toward the end of 2021, and orders after that will ship in 2022.
In case you’re not familiar with this irresistibly cute handheld, it was announced in May 2019, and we just put up some in-depth impressions of the console and a few of its games. It’ll get new, exclusive games in waves called “seasons,” sort of like a TV show. For the first season, you’ll get two games every two weeks over a 12-week period. Panic is being cagey about game details (it hasn’t announced three of the 24 total games), but you can find some thumbnails below to somewhat get a sense of what’s coming.