Game Boy Inspired Console “Playdate” Has A Crank And Is Available Soon

The quirky Game Boy inspired handheld, Playdate, will be available for pre-order next month for $179. Sounds pricey? Well, just wait till you see what this thing can do!

Unveiled back in 2019, the Playdate is a unique take on a classic concept. Featuring a monochrome screen and a crank at the side, this captivating console somehow manages to feel both old and new.

Playdate console
Credit: Panic

If you’re unfamiliar with the concept of Playdate, here’s a neat summary of the device from its official website:

“Playdate is familiar, but unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It has a very special black and white screen – not backlit, but super reflective – that looks way more amazing than you’re probably imagining.

“It also has a peppy little processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and a surprisingly loud loudspeaker. And when you’re not using it, the screen doesn’t turn off – it becomes a very nice low-power clock!”

YouTube video

Crank It

Thankfully, Playdate’s site also provides an explanation for the device’s “crank”, which is an integral part of the experience:

“Yes, the crank. Is it a gimmick? Nah. Does it charge Playdate’s battery? Nope. Is it really fun? Yes yes yes. It’s an analog controller that flips out from the side, allowing you to precisely dial in the action. Not every game uses it, but some really do, like Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure, below.”

Playdate Crank
Credit: Panic


During a recent Playdate Update announcement stream, the console’s creators, Panic, revealed a plethora of information about the device. Not only will Playdate come with 24 games included, from developers like Lucas Pope (Return of the Obra Dinn, Papers Please) and Bennett Foddy (QWOP, Getting Over It), but a “Stereo Dock” will also be available for the device. 

While Playdate doesn’t currently have a solid release date, Panic has said the device should ship in 2021. Hopefully, the ongoing pandemic won’t disrupt Playdate’s distribution or production. Otherwise, some gamers might get a little cranky! Get it? Okay, I’ll stop now.

Playdate dock
Credit: Panic

Are you eager to get your hands on Playdate? Join the conversation on social media!

Shop With GameByte!

Don’t forget you can find some of these great games and more through the new GameByte Shop! The GameByte Shop is stocked up with the latest games, merch and accessories. We might even have a new-gen console or two! Sign up to our newsletter to be notified of our console drops. Please note the GameByte Shop is available for UK customers only.

Featured Image Credit: Panic