It was announced on Wednesday that app developer Panic is creating a new handheld console by the name of “Playdate”, according to a press release by Panic.
“Today, after more than four years of work by a small and talented team, Panic is extremely excited to introduce Playdate, a brand new handheld gaming system,” states the release. “Playdate is both very familiar and totally new.”
This is not the first time Panic has expanded from apps to video games. In 2016, they published the game Firewatch and later this year plan to publish Untitled Goose Game.
The handheld has a black-and-white, reflective screen with no backlight. In addition to this, it features Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C, a headphone jack, and, oddly enough, a hand crank, to flip out an analog controller from the side of the handheld.
As far as games, Panic currently plans to release them in the form of “Seasons”. Each week a new game comes out until they reach a total of 12 games.
Some of these games will be created by fairly notable names, including Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi. His game, Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure, is mentioned in the release and utilizes the crank for gameplay.
Currently, Panic expects to release Playdate in 2020, with pre-orders expected to begin later this year. The current price is listed at $149 USD.