The Playdate hand crank console has been shipping for a few days. According to the American manufacturer Panic, the first copies of the handle are going to buyers. If you want to get a Playdate now, you should pre-order early – according to the manufacturer, the entire production capacity of the Playdate is already taken up with pre-orders.
Anyone who wants to order a hand-cranked console now will have to wait a long time: according to Panic, new orders probably won’t be fulfilled until next year. The playdate is only offered in US dollars on the company’s US website, but Panic also promises shipping to European countries such as Germany, Austria and Switzerland.
Console crank in the simulator
If you want to develop for the Playdate, you can let off steam even if you don’t have your own copy: in February, Panic released a software development kit for the handheld console. You can then try out the games via a built-in simulator including a digital crank. The Panic Playdate console is controlled with a crank. All games are specially developed for the Playdate. In the game “Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure”, the crank is used to let the character run forward or – when cranking in the opposite direction – to go back in time.
Panic had started taking pre-orders for the hand-cranked gadget last summer. The first 5,000 copies produced had a critical battery failure, requiring battery replacement on all production consoles. So far, 20,000 copies of Playdate are expected to be produced, Panic wrote in a blog post last November.
The American company also reported other delivery problems: the CPU, which will be installed in the first Playdate consoles, was sold out – according to Panic, it would take two years to stock up. So they developed a hardware revision with a different motherboard, in which a more readily available processor fits. $180 plus shipping