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Playdate: A new handheld console- with a crank?

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- Price goes up from $150 to $180

 

- Storage increases from 2GB to 4GB

 

- Included games go from 12 to 24

 

- Live event to reveal release date and more details on June 8 at 9:00 a. m. EDT, link here

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This is a really exciting project. A friend of mine is working on a game for it. The price hike isn’t much of a surprise and it’s still an acceptable price given the content distribution model. Maybe the hike will make it easier to get a preorder in :D

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24 hours for the event! In the meantime, here's an interesting portion of their FAQ that answers some of my (our) previous doubts:

 

 

Quote

 

Is Playdate network-enabled?

Playdate contains both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth hardware, and Wi-Fi will be used to download games to Playdate. While it is possible to make games that offer head-to-head network play, our season will focus on single-player gaming.

 

 

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On 6/5/2021 at 5:53 AM, IntelliMission said:

- Price goes up from $150 to $180

 

- Storage increases from 2GB to 4GB

 

- Included games go from 12 to 24

 

- Live event to reveal release date and more details on June 8 at 9:00 a. m. EDT, link here

Not a fan of the price hike, but it seems people will be getting a lot for the money with a storage increase and included games boost.  Definitely looking forward to further information and what all this little handheld is about.

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Ready in July, a cubic dock with bluetooth speakers and a pen holder will be available as an accessory (I assume sold separately).

 

The games look extremely cute, but they mentioned only "season 1" as coming for free with the console. There's a cool Loco Roco style game about marbles and a graphic adventure about a detective. The surf game looks fun too, if perhaps a bit too simple.

 

I'm looking forward to see some hands on review to see how the crank works in the different games.

Edited by IntelliMission
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7 hours ago, digdugnate said:

This is a pretty cool thing!  I'm interested how the SDK stuff pans out- I'd probably learn enough LUA/C to dork around with it.

I'm curious about the website dev stuff too. Personally I like how they aren't trying to make this something it isn't. They know it is quirky and niche.

 

The video was well put together and showed a diverse team. The video got me excited to see more and the wife thought it looked interesting.

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The pen holder and bespoke pen push the boundaries of my tolerance for Portlandiania, but the games look pretty fun and I’m excited about the diverse perspectives and game ideas at work. I like the docking station for charging but it seems like it would be awkward for playing games in stereo. Do you just hold the whole cube?

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Just now, jgkspsx said:

The pen holder and bespoke pen push the boundaries of my tolerance for Portlandiania, but the games look pretty fun. I like the docking station for charging but it seems like it would be awkward for playing games in stereo. Do you just hold the whole cube?

Or does it have bluetooth?

 

I know it adds zero to the games but I like the dock and pen. It would be great on my work desk. And a neat way to store.

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In this day and age it would have been nice to see them push to use less plastic, is one thing I was thinking about. Ah well, in the grand scheme of materials usage it is only a homeopathic proportion of the problem.

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2 minutes ago, jgkspsx said:

In this day and age it would have been nice to see them push to use less plastic, is one thing I was thinking about. Ah well, in the grand scheme of materials usage it is only a homeopathic proportion of the problem.

I don't see it selling enough to really end up using that much plastic.

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There are a few potential concerns though. Imagine if certain other retro consoles to be released in 2021...

 

- Used a crank as a controller just to be different, and then forced developers to create gimmicks for it.

 

- Promoted a pen holder as one of their main features.

 

- Promoted a music player with a "curated list of songs" as one of their main apps.

 

- Showed an interview with a developer that shows some cool animations, but admits he "doesn't know what he's doing" with the game.

 

It's clear that there's a hipster vibe to this system, and, while I wish them all the success in the world, it's also worth pointing out that, in some ways, the project seems more like a parody of a console, like an experimental project created on the basis of "create a new console that works different to the rest".

 

As I said, I find it extremely cool, but I believe they need more focus on how the games play to go beyond cool to actually useful.

 

On the opposite side, some people are already calling it a disaster and some guy even said this is the kind of ideas that leave a company to bankruptcy. These people obviously don't know that the Playdate will sell hundreds of thousands just because of the cool factor, and being cheap to manufacture it's a win-win for them.

Edited by IntelliMission
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9 hours ago, MrBeefy said:

I'm curious about the website dev stuff too. Personally I like how they aren't trying to make this something it isn't. They know it is quirky and niche.

 

The video was well put together and showed a diverse team. The video got me excited to see more and the wife thought it looked interesting.

Exactly!  It's *not* a console and shouldn't be compared to one.  It's a neat tech 'toy', regardless of the cost.  

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1 hour ago, digdugnate said:

Exactly!  It's *not* a console and shouldn't be compared to one.  It's a neat tech 'toy', regardless of the cost.  

Yup. They even are saying a season 2 of games will depend on attach rate. It isn't like they are saying it is the second coming of the Game Boy. If they were making dumb promises like that I would be way more concerned.

 

Since they are up front with what it is, I'd be way more comfortable buying one. I at least know what I'm getting and not being promised the moon or something they can't deliver. It's refreshing to have a company up front that way.

Edited by MrBeefy
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1 hour ago, MrBeefy said:

Yup. They even are saying a season 2 of games will depend on attach rate. It isn't like they are saying it is the second coming of the Game Boy. If they were making dumb promises like that I would be way more concerned.

 

Since they are up front with what it is, I'd be way more comfortable buying one. I at least know what I'm getting and not being promised the moon or something they can't deliver. It's refreshing to have a company up front that way.

Absolutely.  There's been a sense of 'caveat emptor' through the whole project by the company that I feel like has been clearly communicated.  

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I think they priced themselves out of a potentially larger success. This seems like it should be a $99 device to be more of an impulse buy rather than $179 (not counting shipping). At that price, it's going to a "super niche" product rather than a regular old niche product. It's more tech toy than gaming system all things considered. It reminds me a bit of the Pico-8 concept mashed together with early smart displays. 

 

The black and white display is kind of annoying on its own in this day and age (although the early Mac look of the visuals does appeal to me), but the lack of a backlight is really odd, especially considering some of its potential uses if it had one.

 

With my "complaints" aside, I may still get one, but I'm obviously part of that "super niche" who buys ultimately stupid stuff like this to mess around with.

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2 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I think they priced themselves out of a potentially larger success. This seems like it should be a $99 device to be more of an impulse buy rather than $179 (not counting shipping). At that price, it's going to a "super niche" product rather than a regular old niche product. It's more tech toy than gaming system all things considered. It reminds me a bit of the Pico-8 concept mashed together with early smart displays. 

 

The black and white display is kind of annoying on its own in this day and age (although the early Mac look of the visuals does appeal to me), but the lack of a backlight is really odd, especially considering some of its potential uses if it had one.

 

With my "complaints" aside, I may still get one, but I'm obviously part of that "super niche" who buys ultimately stupid stuff like this to mess around with.

Same here for the 'super niche'- I feel like it's an extension in a way of the old Radio Shack electronic kits I had as a kid.  I'm curious about details on their SDK so I figured I could learn enough LUA or additional C to put my eye out and do something dorky on it.  Maybe I can get a competition setup between my oldest kid and I to bang out a quick-and-dirty game.

 

Could I get something much cheaper to dork around with? Sure, but I also have disposable income AND no self-control so in a way that makes me the best customer in the world.  🤣

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1 hour ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I think they priced themselves out of a potentially larger success. This seems like it should be a $99 device to be more of an impulse buy rather than $179 (not counting shipping). At that price, it's going to a "super niche" product rather than a regular old niche product. It's more tech toy than gaming system all things considered. It reminds me a bit of the Pico-8 concept mashed together with early smart displays. 

 

The black and white display is kind of annoying on its own in this day and age (although the early Mac look of the visuals does appeal to me), but the lack of a backlight is really odd, especially considering some of its potential uses if it had one.

 

With my "complaints" aside, I may still get one, but I'm obviously part of that "super niche" who buys ultimately stupid stuff like this to mess around with.

Agree Bill.  At $99 this would be an easy purchase for a lot of people.  However, at $179 that seems to be a bit too much, especially when there are other products (such as the Switch lite) near that price range.  Also, not having the display blacklit is a little perplexing as well.  After all, we are pretty well removed from 1990s, early 2000s handheld gaming at this point.  Still, it is an intriguing handheld and I will be paying attention to further updates and information.

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45 minutes ago, Hwlngmad said:

Agree Bill.  At $99 this would be an easy purchase for a lot of people.  However, at $179 that seems to be a bit too much, especially when there are other products (such as the Switch lite) near that price range.  Also, not having the display blacklit is a little perplexing as well.  After all, we are pretty well removed from 1990s, early 2000s handheld gaming at this point.  Still, it is an intriguing handheld and I will be paying attention to further updates and information.

Speaking of pricing, I got the Xtron Pro from their Kickstarter maybe 3 or 4 months back (didn't open it yet!) and it's presently listed at $89 and seems to have the same spirit. No crank, though: https://www.ovobot.cc/en/product/detail/xtron-pro/

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11 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

Speaking of pricing, I got the Xtron Pro from their Kickstarter maybe 3 or 4 months back (didn't open it yet!) and it's presently listed at $89 and seems to have the same spirit. No crank, though: https://www.ovobot.cc/en/product/detail/xtron-pro/

Never heard of this before now.  Definitely seems to be in the same wheelhouse as what the Play Date is going forward, but at a more reasonable price point.  Also, there is the Aruboy FX (https://arduboy.com/fx/) out there as well, not to mention the Evercade handheld.  Lots of options, that's for sure.  Still, I will still keep myself up to speed on the Playdate for further information and/or details as it does seem cool to some degree, but $179 plus shipping is a little steep for a pretty niche product.  But, then again, style and/or niche things are not always inexpensive.

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6 hours ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I think they priced themselves out of a potentially larger success. This seems like it should be a $99 device to be more of an impulse buy rather than $179 (not counting shipping). At that price, it's going to a "super niche" product rather than a regular old niche product. It's more tech toy than gaming system all things considered. It reminds me a bit of the Pico-8 concept mashed together with early smart displays. 

 

The black and white display is kind of annoying on its own in this day and age (although the early Mac look of the visuals does appeal to me), but the lack of a backlight is really odd, especially considering some of its potential uses if it had one.

 

With my "complaints" aside, I may still get one, but I'm obviously part of that "super niche" who buys ultimately stupid stuff like this to mess around with.

I do think the $150 and $180 ranges will make it niche too. Closer to $100 would have been better.

 

I have no problems with the black and white screen as long as it is good quality.

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4 hours ago, Hwlngmad said:

Never heard of this before now.  Definitely seems to be in the same wheelhouse as what the Play Date is going forward, but at a more reasonable price point.  Also, there is the Aruboy FX (https://arduboy.com/fx/) out there as well, not to mention the Evercade handheld.  Lots of options, that's for sure.  Still, I will still keep myself up to speed on the Playdate for further information and/or details as it does seem cool to some degree, but $179 plus shipping is a little steep for a pretty niche product.  But, then again, style and/or niche things are not always inexpensive.

I'm curious about the arduboy fx but hate the size of it.

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1 minute ago, MrBeefy said:

I'm curious about the arduboy fx but hate the size of it.

Yeah, the screen size of the Arduboy FX is damn small.  But, gotta admit it is kind cool, especially at $59 with shipping.

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