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Playdate finally gets a curated store … and a slight price increase

Playdate, the quirky gaming handheld with a crank, is finally getting its on-system storefront Catalog today. That update comes ahead of a small price increase for the system, which will begin retailing for $199 instead of $179.

This news came during Panic’s first Playdate Update showcase of 2023, which was mostly focused on introducing Catalog and its launch game lineup. When players find a game they like on the storefront, they can crank to buy it once their credit card info is connected to their account. Its launch lineup will include two free games made by developers from marginalized communities: Reel Steel and Recommendation Dog!!!

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Playdate Catalog image shows launch games like Carve Jr., Direct Drive, and Playmaker.

Some of the other notable games that are part of Catalog’s launch lineup include Carve Jr., Chuhai Labs’ crank-based snowboarding game that it teased to Digital Trends last year, Bloom, a flower shop managing game that plays out in real-time, and Skew, an endless runner Playdate spin-off of the upcoming game The Last Worker. Here’s the full list of Catalog’s 17 launch games sorted by price.

  • Reel Steel (free)
  • Recommendation Dog (free)
  • A Joke That’s Worth .99¢ ($1)
  • Eyeland ($2)
  • Down the Oubliette ($5)
  • Swap Machina ($5)
  • Skew – A The Last Worker Spinoff ($6)
  • Grand Tour Legends ($6)
  • Hidey Spot ($6)
  • Word Trip ($6)
  • Carve Jr. ($8)
  • The Botanist ($9)
  • Tapeworm Disco Puzzle ($9)
  • The Botanist ($9)
  • Bloom ($10)
  • Direct Drive ($15)
  • Playmaker ($15)

Starting today, players can get games for themselves via Catalog. Panic doesn’t know how often it’ll update the store, but you’ll know new games have been added if the light on the top of your Playdate flashes blue.

This is the most comprehensive update that Playdate has gotten since its launch. While it means Panic’s quirky handheld system is alive and well, this showcase did reveal some bad news for those that don’t already own a Playdate: its price is going up. Previously priced at $179, those who order a Playdate after April 7 will have to pay $199 for the system. Panic co-founder Cabel Sasser attributes this change to the fact that “the price of building a single Playdate is going up.” 

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