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Playdate: A new handheld console- with a crank?

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6 hours ago, Cebus Capucinis said:

I predict it sells more than VCS and Amico combined.

 

First day it should sell more than the VCS, but it might have trouble beating out the Amico, which has a larger headstart and better retail distribution.

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True. This is also going to be more of a niche product*, though perhaps a popular one, so it should have a lower ceiling on the total market.

 

 

* Arguably both VCS and Amico are niche products as well, though I'm uninterested in whipping the deceased equine on it. Let's just say they're "less quirky" and more "mainstream."

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6 minutes ago, Cebus Capucinis said:

True. This is also going to be more of a niche product*, though perhaps a popular one, so it should have a lower ceiling on the total market.

 

 

* Arguably both VCS and Amico are niche products as well, though I'm uninterested in whipping the deceased equine on it. Let's just say they're "less quirky" and more "mainstream."

Not even arguably in my opinion. They're all the exact definition of niche systems (specialized market segment), period. The Amico is the only one in a position to potentially break out as a more mainstream product, but a lot would have to go right for that to happen and the odds are against them in the current competitive - and thriving - landscape with three major console players, PCs, and mobile (iOS and Android).

 

And to clarify, whenever I use "niche" it's no dig or slight in any way, just the reality. As long as the product is implemented well, including matching costs and production to demand in a sustainable manner, it can be quite successful whether it sells tens of thousands of units or millions of units. The Amico people have seemed to be fairly transparent about their modest break even requirements, so even if it's not 100% accurate, it's at least good to know that they have a plan for what they believe is a sustainable longer term strategy. I suspect the Playdate people have a similar plan, helped by the high price of their product (for the technology) and no doubt healthy margins on each unit.

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On 7/23/2021 at 8:34 AM, Bill Loguidice said:

Not even arguably in my opinion. They're all the exact definition of niche systems (specialized market segment), period. The Amico is the only one in a position to potentially break out as a more mainstream product, but a lot would have to go right for that to happen and the odds are against them in the current competitive - and thriving - landscape with three major console players, PCs, and mobile (iOS and Android).

 

And to clarify, whenever I use "niche" it's no dig or slight in any way, just the reality. As long as the product is implemented well, including matching costs and production to demand in a sustainable manner, it can be quite successful whether it sells tens of thousands of units or millions of units. The Amico people have seemed to be fairly transparent about their modest break even requirements, so even if it's not 100% accurate, it's at least good to know that they have a plan for what they believe is a sustainable longer term strategy. I suspect the Playdate people have a similar plan, helped by the high price of their product (for the technology) and no doubt healthy margins on each unit.

I feel like, because Playdate is keeping its ambitions mild, it leaves room for people like me to watch and see what becomes of it.  Making money on hardware, not chasing dreams of disrupting Sony, and embracing the FOSS/home brew communities are reassuring.  Very little has to go right for Playdate to be a viable product.

 

It's a really smart strategy.

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7 minutes ago, Intellivision Master said:

Well I decided to pre-order the Playdate.  I hope I like it.  I think it'll be a fun device to try out.  Looking forward to how many games end up on the console and how well the crank works.

Yeah me too, just pre-ordered it. 

 

The recent positive press around it really solidified my decision.  I do have some nostalgia for the original Gameboy as it was my first gaming device I owned, so the look and feel already appealed to me.  I also really like their approach and idea of keeping games secret and we get to all play them together.  It will definitely be interesting.

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I kept putting off even letting myself think about it, since the price seemed high. However, the strangeness of it enticed me, and the more I researched, the more value I saw it offering. This device fits a niche no other device I currently own will.

 

If I want triple A handheld games, I have my Switch, Vita, 3ds, psp, etc. A device built around quickly picking up and playing with little to no planning is incredibly enticing (which is part of the reason I fell so in love with the homebrew scene on INTV and CV). The analog crank is exceptionally exciting. I have always admired and loved games which bring their own analog control into the world such as spinner games, steering wheels, flight sticks, fishing controllers, etc. This system will have this nice analog input for all sorts of creative uses, which leads me into the next point..

 

Two dozen games come with it, and after seeing the first 20 thousand Playdates sell out in minutes, I am positive other games will come flooding into the world. Some will likely be from seasoned game creators or programmers, and some will come from newbies. I bet we will see gems from all sorts of people. It doesn't always take layers of complexity to make a truly great game. A novel concept and nice controls go a long way for replay value on such types of games.

 

They are letting everyone access their software to create games for this thing. I think I will even give it a try. I have no other handheld device which makes it so simple to put your own games or those from others right onto it. The designers were very smart to allow everyone to mess with the programming and make games. It's no secret that the longevity of a great gaming system stands heavily on the library of games, and if anyone and everyone is allowed to sell or give away games for it with zero money needing to go to the company, well that's a homebrew paradise! Perhaps I'm just dreaming, but I think there could be a long term homebrew scene for this system.

 

The constraints of the system will attract all sorts of game creators. Experienced veterans may enjoy the challenge of translating a deep concept to a simpler interface. Inexperienced programmers or game designers may find this a welcoming avenue for experimentation or learning. I have always wanted to make a simple game to see if I could manage it, and it looks like it's time to get off my ass and do it!

 

With many handhelds (hell, even cell phones) growing in size these days, it will be nice to actually have one that fits in your hand. Sometimes, when I play the switch in handheld mode for a while, my hands and wrists can get strained or sore from holding it for so long. That is actually one of my biggest beefs with the switch.. it is in no way whatsoever comfortable to hold. It feels like holding a thin, heavy book (it's almost like they avoided even thinking about ergonomics and just wanted the screen size maxed out). The width of it just doesn't allow a comfortable position for my arms and body while holding it, so I usually just don't use it in handheld mode much. It's just heavy enough where it hurts my hands from playing in extended sessions since it isn't shaped like anything someone would hold for a long time. I am looking forward to a device that feels lighter in the hands and maybe I can play while laying in bed without straining my wrists from awkward positioning and the weight of it.

 

Honestly, the only concern I have is I hope the hardware holds up to a ton of use, because I plan on playing the hell out of this thing. One of the demo games they showed was a score chaser, arcade-y type surfing game, and I can see myself binging on that while listening to shows on netflix. I love those score chasing games, and I have gotten more than a few blisters over the years from it, with surely more to come! 

 

I read the easier version of the game creation software doesn't really require coding knowledge, and is super friendly for the creation of rogue-lites. That alone is almost enough to sell the system for me. The world needs more rogue-lites. It has been an up-and-comer genre for some years now, finally gaining mainstream attention lately. If we get mountains of those, I will be so happy.

 

Well, I came to this thread just to say I pre-ordered one, but I guess I got carried away. I only know one or two people in person who would even understand this thing, so I suppose this is my place to rant and rave about it! 

 

Now, on to the hard part, the waiting!

 

 

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Well, shoot. Due to a rolling personal emergency I forgot all about the preorder until five hours afterwards. If I’m going to have to wait until 2022, I think I’m going to wait until they have units in stock before I pay them.

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6 minutes ago, jgkspsx said:

Well, shoot. Due to a rolling personal emergency I forgot all about the preorder until five hours afterwards. If I’m going to have to wait until 2022, I think I’m going to wait until they have units in stock before I pay them.

Exactly what happened with me. I had other things to take care of, so if I have to wait until 2022 anyway, I'll just wait to see how it all shakes out in 2021 before deciding whether or not I'll purchase.

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I got to see one in person in 2019 and like it for being different.   This won't compete with anything else, and trying to be something unique.   For that it has my support.  From what I have seen, I love it.   I also love that there will be a way for homebrewers to code and make games on it.   Comparing it to a switch lite on price is comparing apples and oranges.   Totally different market.   Battery expressed from preview sites is about 8 hours gameplay/much longer in standby.   I preordered it the moment it went live.  

 

 

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30 minutes ago, swlovinist said:

I got to see one in person in 2019 and like it for being different.   This won't compete with anything else, and trying to be something unique.   For that it has my support.  From what I have seen, I love it.   I also love that there will be a way for homebrewers to code and make games on it.   Comparing it to a switch lite on price is comparing apples and oranges.   Totally different market.   Battery expressed from preview sites is about 8 hours gameplay/much longer in standby.   I preordered it the moment it went live.  

 

 

I feel the same way. I missed the 2021 preorder window but will pick one up in 2022 for sure. I love the vibe of the system and the games, and the company seems to know exactly what they are aiming for with this. And since it’s already sold 20k units, does that mean it’s outsold the VCS? I heard they had like 11k systems out in the world, though I’m willing to be corrected on that.

Edited by jerseystyle
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10 hours ago, Intellivision Master said:

Well I decided to pre-order the Playdate.  I hope I like it.  I think it'll be a fun device to try out.  Looking forward to how many games end up on the console and how well the crank works.

I will definitely be asking you what you think of it later on.

If I like what I hear from you since I already value your opinion,I will purchase it then!😊

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I will just say one last time for the record that I'm blown away (in a good way) by how much interest this particular handheld has garnered. Either they will prove their skeptics wrong with their back-to-very-basics approach being a long-term winner or - and frankly I've always been leaning in this direction - there will be a lot of disappointed people when they actually get their hands on the thing and use it. Even putting aside the whole general usability thing, there seem to be a lot of expectations that I'm not sure will be met. It's going to be truly fascinating to watch the events unfold.

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17 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I will just say one last time for the record that I'm blown away (in a good way) by how much interest this particular handheld has garnered. Either they will prove their skeptics wrong with their back-to-very-basics approach being a long-term winner or - and frankly I've always been leaning in this direction - there will be a lot of disappointed people when they actually get their hands on the thing and use it. Even putting aside the whole general usability thing, there seem to be a lot of expectations that I'm not sure will be met. It's going to be truly fascinating to watch the events unfold.

Very much agree Bill.  It will be interesting to see how everything shakes out in the end.  Also, gotta give the makers of the Playdate credit for seemingly doing everything in a good, professional manner.  Hopefully this works out for them as much as it does the people who are getting and/or plan on getting the device.

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Gaming meets the Pocket Fisherman (R.I.P. Ron Popeil).  That handle will certainly fly off (break) in no time with spasmatic players.  

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53 minutes ago, Bill Loguidice said:

I will just say one last time for the record that I'm blown away (in a good way) by how much interest this particular handheld has garnered. Either they will prove their skeptics wrong with their back-to-very-basics approach being a long-term winner or - and frankly I've always been leaning in this direction - there will be a lot of disappointed people when they actually get their hands on the thing and use it. Even putting aside the whole general usability thing, there seem to be a lot of expectations that I'm not sure will be met. It's going to be truly fascinating to watch the events unfold.

I am not surprised at all personally about the interest.   There is a lot of intrigue with this device.    Wired magazine compared it to a fidget spinner and laughed out loud when I read that.    There are so many consoles and handhelds that you need to be different to stand out.   I do have a couple of questions about how season 1 is going to roll out for those who cant get their hands on it until next year.   The companies behind this device are respected and agree it will be fun to watch unfold.    I will share my thoughts about the device when I get my hands on one.  

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48 minutes ago, swlovinist said:

I do have a couple of questions about how season 1 is going to roll out for those who cant get their hands on it until next year.

I think for those who missed the first season, they'll have to buy the season.  Then the season would download to the console with all 24 games at once.  Maybe they'll get the season one games at a discount because of having to wait.  Or perhaps Panic will allow the first season to still be free for people who didn't get the console at the start.

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