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New handheld game console announced: the Playdate

iconmaster

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Jul 18, 2013
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It's... cool? But really bizarre.


You get several games included in the price but each unlocks on a certain week, and is apparently delivered over wifi.

The crank isn't for charging the battery, it's a kind of analog input device.

It comes in yellow.

$149, early 2020. 12 games in "season one," so perhaps they plan for more games down the line?

A few more details from https://play.date/edge/:

- 2.7-inch black-and-white screen, not backlit
- resolution of 400 × 240 – around four times the pixels of the Game Boy’s screen
 
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GamesAreFun

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Jul 27, 2018
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Beautiful design, but looks like it would be uncomfortable to hold - the d-pad is too near the bottom of the device and the side edges aren't rounded. The crank as a controller is neat, assumed it charged the battery at first.

I bought an Ouya at launch, so I'll be more cautious next time...
 
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GamesAreFun

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Jul 27, 2018
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Odd choice, I tried playing an original GBA and it's difficult...

Is there a backlight?
No! Wild, right? In daylight, the reflective layer makes it look spectacular. At night, you can sit by a reading lamp and bask in how incredibly beautiful a modern, sharp, highly-reflective black-and-white LCD can look. It’s great.
 

Pejo

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I'm listening....

What new mechanics can crank controls bring us besides fishing?
 

Pallas

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Looks interesting but what are the games? And it’s blackmsnd white? That may me interesting if the picture and graphics are sharp.
 

Shifty

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Aesthetically, I like it. Might have picked a different colour given the choice but it's not the worst.
Ergonomically, hmm. Unsure. The crank is certainly novel.

It looks like something I would really want root access to.
Pretty much this. It's intriguing enough that I'd want to fiddle around with a SDK and build something for it.

*sigh*

Game Boy Light - 1998
Game Boy Advance SP - 2003

And a black-and-white screen? It's like they never heard of Nintendo.
Cost saving measures, most likely.
 
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DESTROYA

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Not every idea is a good idea.
Not having a backlit screen is really stupid, more just monochrome.
 

EverydayBeast

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I wish playdate all the best, maybe they could of handled some aspects a little better (backlit screen, color etc.) so without being to critical I still see this handheld struggling given the handheld numbers.
 

MayauMiao

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Feb 14, 2018
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The crank I assume is to recharge the unit? Perfect for long trips to remote area without any power source.
 

DiscoJer

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Sep 26, 2009
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I could see $50. It's hard not to compare it to the Atari Flashback Portable, which is $45. That has no wi-fi but does have an sd-card slot.

I also wonder if Sony will allow this? I think they probably have "Play" in the the hardware name of a video game device locked up.
 
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Vitacat

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Oct 20, 2011
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I'm old. I love retrogaming. But, I don't get this device. Especially at that price.

It does remind me of another device, though... The LDK Game. This costs about $50 shipped (from China of course), has a backlit 2.6 inch color screen, emulates everything 8 and 16bit, plus even some PS1 pretty well. In fact, I have one on order, albeit in the transparent shell. Plenty of reviews on youtube if you're curious.



Here's the transparent shell version:

 
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Rodolink

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Aug 19, 2013
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The crank as a charging mechanism as well as an input would be amazing. And might forgive the no backlight. But is not so thats a big sin.
Great overall design though. But very expensive for an experiment. Its a $60 thing tops.

Edit: just read the website, didn't know they made Firewatch, that's crazy. Changed my mind, I might give it a go. Gave me ideas for making something for it.
 
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BunzLee

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Apr 11, 2019
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So, don't get me wrong, but... What or who is this product for? Considering it has no backlight and will be playing their own games, I really don't get who they're trying to reach with this. When it comes to handhelds they're competing with Nintendo and the regular phone, so they'll need a few good arguments to get people to buy into this at a regular price. Also the image looks like a rendering, and I don't trust unfinished products.