Playdate handheld nears release with price hike, new games, and a video update

Back in 2019, Panic unveiled a rather interesting handheld gaming device called the Playdate. The unique handheld was supposed to launch at some point in 2020 but was unfortunately delayed because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Now it looks like we're finally closing in on the Playdate's release, but when it launches later this year, it'll arrive with a price tag that's higher than originally anticipated.

In a post to Twitter today, Panic announced a new video update on Playdate – the first video update it's ever done, in fact. That video update will cover a wide range of topics, from the games that will be included for free as part of Playdate's "Season One," games that will be released for the platform in the future, information on pre-orders, and "some surprises."

The livestream will be happening at 9 AM PDT/12 PM EDT on Tuesday, June 8th. You'll be able to watch the show via the YouTube livestream we've embedded above. There's no word on how long the presentation will last, but based on Panic's description, it sounds like it'll be a pretty packed show.

In follow-up tweets, Panic clarified a few things. First, the company says that pre-orders won't be going live immediately following the presentation, so those eager to get their hands on one won't need to worry about that. "We'll give you plenty of warning before it's go time," the company added.

In addition, Panic says that Playdate's "final price" is $179. When the handheld was first announced, its price was set at $149, so this is a $30 price hike. Perhaps owing to that price hike is the fact that Playdate's internal storage has been doubled to 4GB, and the number of games included in Season One has also been doubled to 24. All 24 of those games will be included with every Playdate purchase at no extra cost.

So, it seems that the price hike probably covers the cost of bringing those extra titles and bolstering the handheld's internal storage. It likely that we'll get a look at some of those new game's during Panic's presentation next week, so be sure to tune in if you've been following the Playdate for the past two years.