×

New Handheld Console Playdate Has a Crank and 12 Games

Portland-based Panic has a shiny new game console, called Playdate, and a slew of new games to go with it, the developer announced Wednesday via Twitter.

Playdate is a bright yellow, handheld console with a black and white screen and a crank— no not for power, this little crank has functionality in some games for the new console.

The crank is a gameplay element for the first confirmed game for the new console, called “Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure,” which is from Keita Takahashi (creator behind the imaginative “Katamari Damacy”). In this game, the little crank will be used to control time itself, moving time backwards and forwards as necessary. Other games won’t use the crank, according to Panic. You can see the crank in action in a tweet GIF the company shared below.

The console will have 11 more new games, but they won’t be revealed ahead of time. Each week after the console’s 2020 release, a new game will be available in what Panic is calling a “full season” of games.

“The games will be delivered over-the-air, once a week for 12 weeks, and they’ll be a surprise: when the new game light flashes, you’ll never know what you’re about to play,” according to the official website for the console. “Panic recruited some of the world’s best game designers — some well known; others under the radar — to make games exclusively for our system.”

Panic is the publisher behind “Untitled Goose Game” (developed by House House) and “Firwatch” (developed by Campo Santo). Playdate will be its first hardware.

As for the specs behind the console, it will be wi-fi and bluetooth enabled, and it also has a USB-c port and headphone jack. In terms of CPU and RAM, Panic is leaving it at “beefy” for now and stated that it will reveal more on specs at launch.

The screen is shiny and not touch-enabled, a choice Panic made with design partners Teenage Engineering. The partners told Panic that “we want to break people of their touch psychosis,” according to a FAQ on the website.

Pre-orders for Playdate will begin later this year, and the console will cost $149. It’s not clear just yet where the console will be launching, according to the FAQ on the console’s website Panic is still figuring out which countries the console will ship to.

Popular on Variety

More Gaming

  • Insomniac Games - Spider-Man

    Sony Is Acquiring Insomniac Games, Studio Behind 'Spider-Man' for PS4

    Sony Interactive Entertainment clinched a deal to acquire longtime PlayStation games developer Insomniac Games in its entirety, the company announced Monday. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed “due to contractual commitments,” according to Sony. Insomniac Games is the developer of PlayStation 4’s top-selling “Marvel’s Spider-Man” and other PS games, including the “Ratchet & [...]

  • westworld awakening art

    HBO Launches 'Westworld Awakening' VR Game With Survios

    Ever wanted to enter the world of “Westworld?” Now you can — except it won’t exactly be like you might have imagined it. Instead of being one of those guests living out their fantasies, you will be a host, slowly coming to grips with your life being an elaborate illusion. “Westworld Awakening” has been produced [...]

  • Telling Lies - Logan Marshall-Green

    Sam Barlow's 'Telling Lies' Government-Surveillance Thriller Game Sets Release Date

    After more than two years in the works, “Telling Lies” — the investigative thriller from acclaimed game creator Sam Barlow — is ready to take the stage. The game, produced with and released by Annapurna Interactive, will be available next Friday, Aug. 23, via Steam and Apple’s Mac and iOS app stores. “Telling Lies” will [...]

  • David Messinger, Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard Hires CAA Veteran David Messinger as CMO

    Activision Blizzard tapped David Messinger, a former 15-plus-year veteran of CAA, as its first corporate-wide chief marketing officer. Messinger, based in Santa Monica, reports to Coddy Johnson, Activision Blizzard’s president and COO. It’s the first time the video-game company has appointed a CMO who will oversee the global marketing operations across all of Activision Blizzard [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Oculus Co-Founder Nate Mitchell Is Leaving Facebook

    Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell is leaving Facebook 7 years after launching the first Oculus Rift headset with a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. Mitchell announced the move on Reddit Tuesday, calling it “bittersweet news.” Mitchell said that he would take some time off to spend with his family. And while he committed to still being involved in [...]

  • nomadic seoul

    Nomadic Expands Abroad, Opens VR Center in Seoul

    Location-based virtual reality (VR) startup Nomadic is getting ready for an international expansion: The company will open its first VR center outside of the States in South Korea later this month. The new location, housed in the CGV Gangbyeon multiplex in Seoul, is being opened in partnership with theater chain CGV and technology provider CJ [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content