Do you have a manbun? Do you wear trousers that end just above your shins? Do you prefer vinyl to Spotify and carry a portable record player with you so you can gently bop to an obscure indie band whilst sipping a coconut soy latte in a non-chain coffee shop? Most importantly, do you have money to burn? If the answer to all these questions is yes then A) we can’t be friends, wear proper trousers you muppet, and B) you may be interested in a new console called Playdate.
Created by Mac and iOS software developers Panic the console is a small yellow square of hipster gaming. We know this because along with the usual buttons and d-pad it has a crank. Yes,a crank, a tiny handle you wind. If that was for turning to create energy to power the console and thus giving us green gaming we’d be excited, but it doesn’t, it’s just for controlling some of the games.
It’s also got a black and white screen.
The console will come with one game but every week over the space of a twelve week ‘season’ another game will be downloaded to it. “Some are short, some long, some are experimental, some traditional. All are fun,” say Panic.
They’ve not said what happens after those twelve weeks but I would hope further games would follow. Panic say they have recruited some of the world’s best game designers, “some well known; others under the radar”, to make exclusive games for the console including Keita Takahashi, the creator of Namco’s Katamari Damacy.
The FAQ has a section with the question ‘Why did Panic make Playdate?’ and the answer is thus: “Panic saw an opportunity for something truly different in the world of video games. Something small-scale that could deliver a dose of fun and delight to video game players who have otherwise seen it all. Something that could fit nicely in-between “regular” gaming sessions.”
Tell you what, Panic are going to be gobsmacked when someone waves a smartphone in front of them.
Playdate, which clearly is a passion project and not aimed at mainstream gamers, will ship in early 2020 with pre-orders anticipated in late 2019, and will cost you $149.