A lot of things in can go back to basic. You know, like going full-on minimalist with, for example, wallets, speakers and et cetera. However, it is hard to imagine handheld gaming system could and should go back to basic. I mean, how can anyone forsake touchscreen controls and eye-watering 3D graphics? Well, as it turns out, software developer Panic is doing exactly that. Like, going basic with handheld gaming system and doing so, in a rather innovative fashion.
Meet Playdate, an upcoming portable gaming device that shuns advanced graphics and advanced portable gaming system technology – save for WiFi, Bluetooth and USB-C, and also a headphone jack. It is yellow and it has a small square form factor that slips right into a pocket, and it has a crank. You heard that right. It has a crank. The crank serves as a rotating analog controller which some games rely on exclusively, while some games use it alongside the D-pad and A+B buttons which it also has, and some don’t use it at all. The crank literally puts a new spin on games.
Playdate does not have fancy eye-watering color display. All it have is a black and white screen with no fancy backlight. The crank, btw, is developed in collaboration with Swedish consumer electronics maker, Teenage Engineering, who believes in minimalist design without sacrificing functionality. Play Date is already in development for four years and it is slated to arrive in early 2020 for $149. The price includes a 12-game season which will be released one week at a time.
The titles remain a secret for now, but Panic did reveal one of the original Playdate game that uses the crank control exclusively called Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure from Keita Takashasi, the creator of Namco’s Katamari Damacy. Pre-order is expected to happen in late 2019 and if you want one, you can sign up to be notified about its development and also the availability.
About those games. We reached out to some of our favorite people, like @KeitaTakahash, @bfod, @helvetica, @shauninman, and many more.— Playdate (@playdate) May 22, 2019
Here's a peek at one: Crankin's Time Travel Adventure, from Keita. It's fun and funny. pic.twitter.com/0Ibwqr5k3I
Oh yeah, the crank! No, it doesn't power the device. It's a flip-out rotational controller that puts a fresh spin on fun. Some games use it exclusively, some use it with the d-pad, and some not at all. pic.twitter.com/XYW97nLZKK— Playdate (@playdate) May 22, 2019
Source: Tools & Toys.