|April 18, 2022
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.
The Playdate includes the first season of games for no extra cost. These season games are distributed at a rate of two games every Monday for twelve weeks starting when the individual Playdate is first powered on. The first two games come preinstalled while the rest are provided over the built in Wi-Fi.
Because of a parts shortage during the manufacturing of pre-ordered Playdate devices, two hardware revisions of the Playdate exist, Rev. A and Rev. B.
There are a few differences between them, the most notable being that the Rev. B hardware's RAM is slower to access. This can lead to slightly worse performance on Rev. B devices in some performance-intensive cases like rotating or blurring an image.
Learn more about the Rev. A hardware by looking through the iFixit teardown.
- 76 x 74 x 9mm size, 86 grams in weight.
- 180MHz Cortex M7 CPU (Rev. A: STM32F746, Rev. B: STM32H7B0), 16MB of RAM.
- 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 a SHARP Memory LCD, 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, Menu button, and Lock 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 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 (LS027B7DH01) which offers very fast pixel switching with near zero power drain while maintaining pixels. The display is monochrome, with an OFF (black) and ON (white) state. There are no grid lines, no blurring, the screen is extremely sharp and clear. The screen is made of glass.
The screen does not have a backlight, but it is highly reflective and boasts high visibility in low light situations.
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 the Playdate's system menu function. Along the top edge of the Playdate, there is a lock 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.
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 is coming soon and will be used to connect to the Playdate Stereo Dock.
Wifi communication offers device networking with Playdate servers for game downloads, as well as limited networking for online leaderboards in some games.
The Playdate comes 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 and there are other accessories created by the community. See Accessories.
Created By Panic In Cooperation with Teenage Engineering & Metric Designworks
See Playdate Credits for up to date credits