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Playdate console
The front of the Playdate.
Release Date: Shipping Now (Group 1)
Early 2022 (Group 2)
2022 (Groups 3, 4 and 5)
Developers: Panic
Teenage Engineering
Codename: Asheville

The Playdate is the console by Panic. It costs $179 USD[1][2], with extra for shipping and taxes.


The entire history of the Playdate up to the launch of the console was summarized by the sixth episode of Panic's podcast.

Preorders for Playdate opened on July 29th, and the first 20,000 units sold out within 17 minutes.[3]


The Playdate includes the first season[1] of games for no extra cost. They will be released at a rate of two games every Monday for twelve weeks[4] starting when the individual Playdate is first powered on. These games will be provided over the built in Wi-Fi. Some games will also come installed on the Playdate itself.

Further official game releases are undetermined at this time - Panic has said they want to see the response to the Season model before they decide what to do next. However, they have announced Catalog, their take on an online game store, which will release some time in the future.

Games can also be developed, shared and loaded on the Playdate's internal memory from a PC using the included USB cable with no jailbreaking or other such methods being required.

All Playdate games to date are singleplayer, but Panic plan on adding multiplayer functionality to the Playdate SDK some time down the road.


Learn more about the hardware by looking through the iFixit teardown.


  • 76 x 74 x 9mm size, 86 grams in weight.
  • 180MHz Cortex M7 CPU. (STM32 F746), 16MB of RAM with 32KB of L1Cache.
  • 4GB Flash storage (3.5GB usable). The first season of games are approximately 1GB total, leaving plenty of room for other titles.
  • 2.7 inch 400 x 240 (173ppi) highly reflective monochrome (1-bit / black and white) display with no backlight. The screen is based on SHARP Memory technology, giving the screen great readability in most light levels and an extremely wide viewing angle.
  • Built-in mono speaker with 3.5mm stereo headphone jack. Bluetooth audio is supported for the Stereo Dock.
  • Condenser microphone with TRRS mic in.
  • D-Pad & A + B buttons, Sleep + Menu button and Power button on top, with a physical hardware crank that can be tucked in the side of the Playdate when not needed.
  • 802.11bgn 2.4GHz Wi-Fi for downloading games & Bluetooth for audio capabilities.
  • 740 mAh battery[5] with 8 hour battery life & up to two week standby time.
  • 3-Axis accelerometer.
  • USB-C port for charging and data. A USB-C cable is included in the box.
  • Color: Pantone 1235C.


The screen of the Playdate is a Memory LCD manufactured by Sharp which offers very fast pixel switching with near zero power drain while maintaining pixels. The display is monochrome, with an ON (black) and OFF (white) state. There are no grid lines, no blurring, the screen is extremely sharp and clear. The screen is made of glass[6].

The screen does not have a backlight, but it is highly reflective and boasts high visibility in low light situations.


Standard Inputs

The Playdate has a standard directional (D) pad with up, down, left and right buttons, as well as a standard A and B side-by-side inputs. There are no shoulder buttons. the A and B button are pad printed with white letters denoting the button.

In the upper right corner of the screen, there is a circular button which activates menu function of the Playdate. Along the top edge of the Playdate, there is a sleep button. Below the menu button is an oblong mono speaker.


The Crank is a rotary analog input that flips outward from the side of the Playdate. When tucked into the Playdate, the handle of the crank is obscured and out of the way of use or storage. The rotation of the crank can be read from the device as a delta (change) in rotation per frame, or as an absolute rotation angle from 0 - 359 degrees.


The Playdate is also equipped with a 3-axis accelerometer. Not to be confused with a gyroscope.

Additional Sensors

The playdate also includes a sensor on the crank handle dock to detect when the crank has been docked. This sensor can trigger game logic and has the potential for use as an additional input in some instances.



Bluetooth connectivity offers standard audio playback functionality, which is utilized to connect to the Playdate Stereo Dock or other Bluetooth audio devices.


Wifi communication offers device networking with Playdate servers for game downloads, as well as possible future support for in-game networking and multiplayer functionalities. Some apps, such as Poolsuite FM utilize wifi connectivity to stream audio or connect to other internet services.

Package Contents

The Playdate will come in packaged with:

  • Playdate Console
  • USB-C to USB-A cord
  • User Guide

Playdate comes installed with the Playdate console operating system as well as:

  • A few pre-installed games
  • Rolling release of 24


There are no accessories that ship with the Playdate, but Panic offers 1st party accessories which complement the device. See Accessories.


Created By Panic In Cooperation with Teenage Engineering & Metric Designworks

See Playdate Credits for up to date credits