Time is running out on preordering a Playdate with better pricing. Beginning tomorrow, Panic’s little yellow handheld will cost $199. The company announced last month that a price jump was coming on April 7th due to increased manufacturing costs, so now is your last chance to place a preorder for the current $179 price. This is actually the second price increase on the crank-equipped portable, as it initially went up from $149 to $179 before its initial launch.
A preordered Playdate must be paid in full, with an estimated shipping date currently listed as late 2023 — though, you can cancel any time before it ships and get a full refund should you change your mind. The Playdate includes a season of 24 games with the purchase, and more quirky games are available on its Catalog storefront ranging from free to $15.
While the Playdate may seem a little pricey for a limited selection of games, you can sideload more compatible indie titles through itch.io, and when the handheld goes to sleep, it displays a clock on its 400 x 240 1-bit black-and-white display. It’s as much a small art piece and love letter to eccentric gaming handhelds as it is a great showcase for some excellent bite-size indies.
Just look at the kind of gems you can crank it to: