Jun 8, 2021 - Technology

Upstart company to release gaming handheld this year

Photo of a Playdate gameboy prototype that's yellow

The Playdate gaming device. Photo: Playdate

Playdate, a small gaming device that's more or less a Game Boy built for modern times, will cost $179, with pre-orders starting in July, the system's creators at Panic announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: Dedicated portable gaming devices have faded away as mobile phone gaming has grown, but Playdate's makers hope that a retro black-and-white handheld with some modern quirks can find an audience.

  • The Playdate's signature feature is a crank that can be used to help control games.
  • But its most intriguing offering is a seasonal gaming subscription, free to system purchasers, that will dole out two new games a week.

Correction: A previous headline incorrectly said the gaming device will be released this summer.

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