The promised launch date has fallen behind for a year now, but Playdate handheld gaming system is finally available to pre-order. It looks like not only it has been delayed, it is also more expensive than previously announced. It is now US$179 a pop.

Playdate Handheld Gaming System Pre-order

For the uninitiated, Playdate is a handheld gaming system by software developer, Panic. It has a sleek, beautiful, square design, but has no fancy technology – save for WiFi, Bluetooth, USB-C, and a headphone jack.

There’s no touchscreen or eye-watering graphics. Instead, has a 400 x 240 1-bit monochrome screen and a crank for control – in addition to the usual D-pad and A+B buttons.

Playdate Handheld Gaming System Pre-order

The crank is a rotating analog controller which some games rely on exclusively. Some games do not use it at all, while some games requires the crank to be used with the D-pad and/or A+B buttons.

The device is powered by a 180 MHz (that’s that Megahertz with a ‘M’) Cortex M7 with 16 MB RAM and 4 GB flash storage. A built-in battery offers up to 14 days standby with clock or 8 hours of active use.

Playdate Handheld Gaming System Pre-order

In addition to Bluetooth, wireless 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz), and stereo headphone jack, it also has a built-in mono speaker as well as condenser mic + TRRS mic-in. Plus, it has a 3-axis accelerometer built into it too.

Pre-order for the device starts on July 29 at 10AM PDT. Panic promised pre-orders will not “sell-out” which should be a relieve for serious buyers. The first batch of around 20,000 units are expected to ship sometime late 2021 while additional units will ship in 2022.

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Playdate Handheld Gaming System Pre-order

However, you want want to note that the full payment of US$179 will be required when pre-ordering. It can be cancelled any time for a full refund. Each person is limited to two units.

Images: Panic/Playdate.

Published by Mike

Avid tech enthusiast, gadget lover, marketing critic and most importantly, love to reason and talk.