First deliveries of Playdate rotary handle handheld have been sent

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Panic has shipped the first batch of the Playdate handheld. The console was supposed to arrive at the end of last year, but was postponed at the last minute due to battery problems. The Playdate costs $179, has a 2.7″ black-and-white screen and will have at least twenty-four games.

Panic says on Twitter that the first batch has been shipped, but says that it concerns ‘small’ batches. The company expects the first batch of preorders to be shipped by May. Customers will receive an email when their console has shipped. The company also says it wants to increase the number of deliveries every day. Only later will the company announce when the second group of preorders will be delivered.

The Playdate was introduced in May 2019 and was created by the game publisher Firewatch. The screen has a resolution of 400×240 pixels and no backlight. So incident light is needed to be able to read the screen. On the right side is a joystick that can be used in some games. On the front are a d-pad and A and B buttons. There is also WiFi, Bluetooth and a USB-C and 3.5mm connection. The device is 74x76x9mm in size.

The handheld will come with at least twenty-four games, which will be spread over a period of twelve weeks. Panic calls this a season and says the season starts when the Playdate is first used. The distribution of those games is also random. So if someone gets his or her Playdate in six months, he or she can initially play two games. Additional games will be added in the following weeks.

At the launch, Panic said the console would launch in early 2020 for $149, but preorders didn’t start until July 2021 at a price of $179. In November that year, the company had to postpone deliveries again because the battery underperformed on the first batch of 5,000 handhelds. That is why a different battery was chosen. If you order the Playdate now, you will only receive the console in 2023.

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