Playdate December Update Discusses Development Progress, Dev Kit Details, and More

Playdate developer Panic is hard at work getting their handheld console ready for a 2020 release.

By Ricky Frech

December 19, 2019

If you don’t remember, Playdate is the upcoming handheld console from Panic, best known for publishing Firewatch and Untitled Goose Game. The handheld console features a striking design, a novel game release cycle, and a crank. That’s right, a crank. Panic recently put out a December update that details all the progress the team has made and where they’re planning to go from here. Fortunately, it seems to be all good news.

Production on the console is moving along as expected. The team has passed several hardware milestones and engineered a new crank to make sure it is up the task of the world’s strongest….crankers. I’m so sorry. Anyways, with production on schedule, Panic is announcing a new step in the production line: the Playdate Developer Preview. Essentially, the goal is to get Playdate in front of devs early so they can get cranking away on new games and the like. Soon, Panic will put these Developer Preview units up for sale, and prospective devs can enter into a lottery of sorts to randomly decide who gets a unit.

From there, each unit that ships will actually be a “dev kit” on its own. Anyone who wants to buy a Playdate can develop games for it. Panic also promises that even those of us without technical know-how will be able to create to our heart’s content. They’re not ready to reveal how, but details should emerge sometime next year. Along with these new updates is a confirmation that the Playdate is still on track to ship in 2020.

Potentially the best news is that, at least in the early days, the Playdate will never be “sold out”. Panic plans to take backorders and do constant production to ensure that everyone who wants a Playdate will get one. Stay with DualShockers to know exactly when sales go live.

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