This quirky, crank-operated console delivers an exclusive new game each week

playdate new handheld console secret game weekly header 2

There are a plethora of games released every week across all platforms, many of them independent of publishers and largely under the radar. It takes some creativity to get these games into the hands of gamers and software developer Panic is taking a direct approach with Playdate, a bright yellow handheld console with a black and white screen.

Is Playdate a new gaming console that will add to major competition between Nintendo, Sony, and Microsoft? Doesn’t seem like it is being positioned as such. Panic calls it a “celebration of the video game” on the official website, and it will celebrate the medium by giving owners of the device a new, secret game weekly after its launch. You won’t know what they are until they arrive on the device, but they have some solid developers lined up.

Panic has a history of creating Mac and iOS software over its 20-year history. The company also published Campo Santo’s Firewatch, a 2016 indie hit, and is publishing Untitled Goose Game. For Playdate, the team reached out to game designers like Keita Takahashi, Zach Gage, Bennett Foddy, and Shaun Inman.

playdate new handheld console secret game weekly build

Takahashi is the game designer behind Katamari Damacy and the upcoming game Wattam, which will be published by Annapurna Interactive. Gage created SpellTower and also worked with Vlambeer on Ridiculous Fishing. Foddy is responsible for the hilarious platformer Getting Over It with Bennett Foddy. Last but not least, Inman is the creator of the web stats application Mint and iOS titles The Last Rocket and Flip’s Escape.

It’s a solid collection of designers on paper and the first revealed title, Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure, is from Takahashi. It’s a 2D adventure that utilizes Playdate’s unique crank, which was the product of a collaboration with Teenage Engineering. From the brief clip of the game, the crank allows a player to control time by winding it backward or forward.

Playdate will cost $150 when it launches in early 2020 and the first season of content will release at no additional charge. Twelve games are planned at this time, and it is not clear how much future seasons will cost.


Hey! Listen! Here's the entire Legend of Zelda series ranked from best to worst

The Legend of Zelda series is one of the most iconic video game franchises of all time, featuring more than a handful of the very best games ever made. We ranked all of the games in the series timeline from best to worst.

Get Nindie with it and check out these awesome indie games for the Switch

The Nintendo Switch's portability makes indies feel at home on the platform. Luckily, there are plenty of great titles to choose from. Here are our picks for the best Nintendo Switch indie games.

Microsoft xCloud vs. Shadow: Which one will be worth your hard-earned money?

Game streaming looks to be the next big thing in PC gaming, and Microsoft's xCloud and Blade's Shadow figure to be major players in the game streaming competition. We compared each service to help you decide between the two.

The best Nintendo Switch games, from Breath of the Wild to Rocket League

The Nintendo Switch's lineup started off small, but games have steadily released as the console continues through its second year. Here are the best Nintendo Switch games available now.

Tips and tricks to mastering the hunt in Monster Hunter World: Iceborne

If you're planning on playing the Monster Hunter World: Iceborne beta on PS4, check out our beginner's guide for a handful of tips and tricks covering mechanics both old and new. Hoarfrost Reach is dangerous, but you got this.

Our favorite gaming desktops make the latest consoles look pathetic

PC gaming doesn't always come cheap, but it doesn't have to be extortionate either. In this guide we've put together a list of the best gaming PCs you can buy, with everything from the big and flashy, to the super compact.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Illuminated keyboards and a retro gaming console

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Virtual Reality

Getting into VR is spendy. Which headset is truly worth your hard-earned cash?

Virtual reality has finally gone mainstream, but how do you find the best VR headset for you? Check out a few of our favorites, whether you want the best of the best or a budget alternative for your mobile device.

Fortnite PC players may have to upgrade graphics cards once Season 10 kicks in

Epic Games said that Fortnite for PC will no longer support DirectX 10 starting in Season 10. Players will need to have DirectX 11-capable graphics cards to continue playing the Battle Royale shooter.

GuardianCon raises $3.7 million: Bungie breaks record, but Dr. Lupo does better

Destiny developer Bungie joined this year's GuardianCon Charity Marathon Stream, breaking the record by raising $400,000 in just four hours. The proceeds of the week-long event will be donated to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Final Fantasy VIII Remastered will come with features for faster progression

Final Fantasy VIII Remastered will come with features that will enable faster progression. Players who do not want to go through the same grind as in their first playthrough will be able to activate battle enhancements, among others.

Flyers in Apex Legends may be hinting at something monstrous for Season 2

Flying beasts have appeared in Apex Legends' King's Canyon map. While the creatures are peaceful for now, they may be hinting that something more monstrous is coming to the team-based Battle Royale shooter once Season 2 launches on July 2.

Blizzard suffers another blow with exit of global esports director Kim Phan

Blizzard suffered another blow with the departure of global esports director Kim Phan. Her exit comes after Overwatch League's founding commissioner Nate Nanzer left last month to join Epic Games.

Here’s how to get early access to FFXIV: Shadowbringers

You can get early access to FFXIV: Shadowbringers by pre-ordering it, but simply purchasing it isn't enough to get you in. Here's how you can get early access to Shadowbringers, regardless of what platform you're on.