One of the strangest unveilings we’ve seen in a minute comes to us from Firewatch developer Panic who debuted a new crank-based handheld called PlayDate. The unit itself looks like a stripped-down Gameboy with a D-Pad and just two buttons, but it operates with the use of a crank on the side. The demo, which you can kind of watch on their website at the link above, shows a game with a robot where the crank control time physics, allowing you to wind the action forward or backward to progress the story, which is a really cool idea! And apparently, they have major plans for this as you can read below from their site.
We reached out to some top game designers, like Keita Takahashi and Zach Gage and Bennett Foddy and Shaun Inman. We showed them Playdate and asked, “Want to make a game for it?”. Then we lost our minds when they said “Yeah!” So Playdate isn’t just the hardware.
It’s twelve brand new video games, one each week.
What are these games? Here’s the thing: we’d like to keep them a secret until they appear on your Playdate. We want to surprise you. Some are short, some long, some are experimental, some traditional. All are fun. When your Playdate lights up with a brand new game delivery, we hope you can’t wait to unwrap your gift. And there’s so much more to come. Playdate is alive with possibilities and surprises, future games and new ways to make them. We’ll have even more to talk about at launch.
According to the devs, they’ve been working on this for four years and plan to release it sometime in late 2019. Hopefully, they have something planned to show people at E3 2019 so we can get a taste of what this actually is in practicality. Right now, it looks pretty rad, but we’re interested to see how long the battery lasts and what kind of games they have planned down the road.