Panic’s Playdate Looks Like a Yummy Nintendo Bizarro Game and Watch
Gaming handhelds are my favorite type of console, but they’ve gotten much bigger and more complex over time. I grew up with a Game & Watch that could fit in my pocket, but now thecan barely fit into my jacket. Playdate, which promises to be a throwback to tiny, fancy gaming devices, has been . It’s finally here in my hands, and I love how it feels.
My full Playdate review won’t arrive until April 18, but for now, here’s a look at the box, the Playdate, and its size alongside other handhelds.
It’s a minimum package! The box opens, and then there’s the Playdate, sitting sideways to match its original play promises, with a small instruction booklet and matching yellow USB-C cable to charge. That’s it. There’s no case in the box, which is frustrating as the device seems to beg to be pampered in a protective bag. It’s small and square, a shape unlike any other handheld I’ve used before.
The Playdate has a reflective black and white screen. There’s a directional pad with two buttons, plus a signature game-enabled crank sticking out of the side of the handheld.
The size of the Playdate is close to that of Nintendomodels. It’s smaller than any phone currently on the market, making it much smaller than a Nintendo Switch.
Besides its USB-C charging port, the other thing I appreciate is the headphone jack. Nintendo’s Game & Watch handhelds don’t have one, which means you can’t keep the audio to yourself. It’s a small touch that makes the Playdate feel less like a novelty and more functional as a portable gaming system.
My impressions of the Playdate and its games are coming. So far, I can confirm that this little yellow machine is adorable and surprisingly well built.