Panic's Playdate handheld will be available for pre-order in July

The company also unveiled a Stereo Dock for the Playdate.


Today, at Panic’s first ever Playdate video showcase, the company made a few announcements about its gaming handheld with a hand crank. The most anticipated bit of news is that the device will finally be available for pre-order in July, though a specific date has yet to be set. The company says there will be at least a week’s warning before pre-orders open. As a reminder, the device is priced at $179.

The other big reveal is the Playdate Stereo Dock, the first accessory for the quirky Playdate. The dock functions as both a charging stand and a Bluetooth speaker for the Playdate. Oh, and there’s also a pen holder, because why not. And yes, a bright yellow pen comes with it. Just like the Playdate, the Stereo Dock was designed by Teenage Engineering.

On top of that, Panic has partnered with Poolsuite FM, an online radio station with curated SoundCloud playlists, which you can of course play on the Stereo Dock if you wish. The Poolsuite app will be pre-installed on the Playdate. Pricing and availability of the stereo dock is yet to be determined.

The company also announced the Playdate Cover, a protective case for the Playdate, which is currently available in purple. A Playdate Cover and Playdate bundle will be priced at $199 ($20 more than the Playdate’s $179 price), while the cover by itself is priced at $29.

Playdate Cover

The company also revealed 21 out of the 24 games that will be included with the Playdate as part of its Season One lineup. Panic didn’t reveal too many other details about the games, but it did say that Playdate owners can expect to receive two games per week for 12 weeks (those games can then be kept forever).

Here’s a list of those 21 games:

  • Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure - Developed by uvula (Keita Takahashi, Ryan Mohler), Matthew Grimm and Shaun Inman

  • Battleship Godios - Developed by TPM.CO Soft Works

  • Boogie Loops - Developed by May-Li Khoe and Andy Matuschak

  • Casual Birder - Developed by Diego Garcia; Music and Sound by Max Coburn

  • DemonQuest 85 - Developed by Alex Ashby, Lawrence Bishop, Duncan Fyfe, Belinda Leung and Jared Emerson-Johnson

  • Echoic Memory - Developed by Samantha Kalman, Everest Pipkin, Carol Mertz and Rachelle Viola

  • Executive Golf DX - Developed by davemakes

  • Flipper Lifter - Developed by Serenity Forge

  • Forrest Byrnes: Up in Smoke - Developed by Nels Anderson, Christina “castpixel” Neofotistou

  • Hyper Meteor - Developed by Vertex Pop (Mobeen Fikree, Robby Duguay and h heron)

  • Lost Your Marbles - Developed by Sweet Baby Inc & Friends

  • Omaze - Developed by Gregory Kogos

  • Pick Pack Pup - Developed by Nic Magnier, Arthur Hamer. Music by Logan Gabriel

  • Questy Chess - Developed by Dadako

  • Ratcheteer - Developed by Shaun Inman, Matthew Grimm and Charlie Davis

  • Sasquatchers - Developed by Chuck Jordan. Music and Sound by Jared Emerson-Johnson

  • Snak - Developed by Zach Gage. Art by Neven Mrgan

  • Spellcorked! - Developed by Jada Gibbs, Nick Splendorr, Ryan Splendorr and Tony Ghostbrite. Music by A Shell in the Pit (Em Halberstadt)

  • Zipper - Developed by Bennett Foddy

  • Saturday Edition - Developed by Chris Makris. Music by A Shell in the Pit (Gord McGladdery, Alfonson Salinas)

  • Whitewater Wipeout - Developed by Chuhai Labs (Giles Goddard, Mark Lentz, Peter Traylor, Hero Liao, Remy Thor, Charlie March, Kensaku Nakata, Zach Aikman, Mihoko Terao)

Season One games developed for the Playdate

Panic teased that there’ll be a few extra games, some developed by the company itself. The company also announced that Lucas Pope, who created Return of the Obra Dinn and Papers Please, is working on a game for Playdate called Mars After Midnight.

Additionally, Panic has partnered with narrative development company Sweet Baby to guide two developers from underrepresented communities. They are Recommendation Dog (led by Xalavier Nelson Jr.) and Reel Steel.

Panic also showcased a few talented developers from last year’s Developer Preview Program, who were able to snag an early version of the hardware and tinker with the SDK. According to the company, they will be able to sell software and games developed for the Playdate, which can then be sideloaded to the device (these will be separate from the aforementioned Season One titles).

Since third-party developers are so integral to the success of Playdate, the company also introduced Pulp, a new tool that’s specifically designed to create Playdate games. All you need is a web browser in order to use it.

As mentioned, you’ll have to wait until July to pre-order your Playdate. But if you miss out on the initial rush, you’ll probably still get one eventually.

“The sooner you order, the sooner you’ll get one, but we’re not going to close the door on you,” said Cabel Sasser, Panic’s co-founder. “Hopefully it’s a pleasant experience. Although surely something will go wrong, so thanks in advance for your patience with whatever that thing is.”