Playdate - new handheld gaming system, with a crank

I like the concept and want to support this but the price is really up there ($149 USD) when compared to other similar systems like PocketCHIP and ArduBoy ($79 and $49).

The crank is really cool though and has a load of fun potential uses.

It appears that you get 12 games from well known developers in the package.

But international shipping and tax will likely make this too expensive for me. We’ll see.

ps: PocketCHIP production has ceased/closed.

Yeah, that’s always what I thought my handheld gaming needed, a crank.

At least the arduboy has a good tetris version…

I’m surprised you’re not excited, I thought crankiness was your thing :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:



Skeptical as I may be, that Keita Takahashi is making something with it makes it so I will have to not completely disregard it.

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Hmm, was kinda hoping it would be powered by the crank. Like my emergency weather radio.

No colour, no backlight, a hand crank and $150 USD. Maybe I don’t understand the market, but I just have no clue what this is for. Who would buy it? Would it see any use outside of a week’s novelty?

Call me crotchety, but I don’t like it.

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Looks like an expensive ArduBoy which itself seemed like a neat idea but $149US is too expensive a curiousity to risk it on

The engineering looks very nice. And I’m always interested in new input methods.

Basically the first fully hipster console.

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I love the concept - the spirit of Game Boy lives on.

It’s arrived at the right time I think, with GB turning 30. There’s quite a few factors in its favour, with there being demand for its quirkier games, a nostalgic proportion of its audience now having disposable income, and the decline of truly handheld game design now that even Nintendo only focuses on a portable home console on one end while serving the worst parts of mobile gaming on the other…

Hopefully they execute well on the software and development side. It could echo the GB/NPC/Wonderswans etc from the era in game design spirit, but at the same time the screen resolution looks pretty high. But then again it seems like it’s designed for a modern world anyway - I’m sure it won’t require programming in assembler, and making good low res sprites is hard work, as is making games for 160 x 160 displays. There will probably be some input lag, and the display will probably be a permanently backlit one.

Heh, pretty much. Interesting that they are manufacturing in Malaysia going from the 3D renders, which is where Sony is still making their Walkmans. Makes it seem more bespoke given its small scale than a mass produced OEM-based piece of hardware.

Some info.

The team at Panic wrote their own OS rather than using an off-the-shelf Linux variant, and the display doesn’t have backlighting. Sounds promising

You can play a Keita Takahashi’s game “Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure” on the homepage. So you can see that the gameplay can be quite interesting.

It’s obvious (at least to me) that they’ve put a huge amount of work and consideration into this.

The “season” surprise concept. The crank. The industrial design. The colour! Love that Nintendo Yellow colour.

I think adding a dynamo would increase the size of it quite substantially? That’s my understanding.

Press Release answers some common questions:

Apparently the screen looks great in all light because it’s reflective and black and white, light actually helps maintain the contrast.

Resolution is 400x240 which is the same as 3DS top screen.

I’m all for new ways to play. This reminds me of both Wii and DS in that regard. Hopefully it will lead to some great new game experiences, which as @harborline_765 points out even Nintendo are no longer interested in making.

Well, I was (mostly) kidding and trying to make a late-night quip and coming up short. Looked the the kind of thing I’d add to my emergency kit, and a portable gaming device would be essential for my survival. :smile:

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Is it insane I’m actually considering buying this? I love gimmicky handhelds. I’ve been playing a stock GBC lately with just natural light and really dig GBC native games that way even more so than on my GB Player through GBI. It’s clear the colors we’re not meant to be backlit.

And I love playing the NGPC, DS and 3DS too. I think I may actually grab this for the novelty.

Scratch that… didn’t really read enough about it. I’m not thinking of buying it. I’m GOING to buy it. The lead creator of Katamari Damacy is making a game for it. I’m sold on that alone.

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Wow, this thing is going to be tiny

Looks like a game and watch! Love it

One from the EDGE feature


I love it. Like around the size of an open GBA SP or so but shorter.