this mini console has a crank!

While the world of video games is leaning towards more and more graphics quality, the company Panic will soon release a monochrome portable mini console. The latter also features a crank, unheard of for a game console.

Retro and low consumption

For ten years now, the world of video games has entered the era of so-called “nextgen” consoles (next generation). With the arrival of the PlayStation 5 (Sony) and other Xbox series (Microsoft), we are entering the ninth generation of consoles, synonymous with increasingly impressive graphics. A very special console is also part of this generation, but is characterized by its minimalism: the Playdate. However, the Panic company’s machine can be considered an innovation, which may seem a bit paradoxical when you know that it seems to be aimed at an audience of retrogaming enthusiasts.

The manufacturer published a video on June 9, 2021 describing its product in detail. We see that the Playdate is reminiscent of the old and legendary Game Boy from Nintendo, with a screen that has a better definition (400 x 240 pixels against 160 x 144). Yet we are very far from performance standards other ninth generation consoles. The screen of the Playdate is a Memory LCD panel from Sharp without backlighting and therefore highly reflective. In addition, it is a low-consumption machine that benefits from a 8 hours of in-game battery life and fourteen days standby with clock display.

console retro play date
Credits: capture YouTube / Panic

Retro, but also modern

Despite its retro look and gimmicky appearance, the Playdate is quite modern. In fact it is equipped Both wifi and bluetooth. On the storage side, the console still has a capacity of 4GB. What is most intriguing, however, is undoubtedly the presence of a crank on the side, next to the directional cross and buttons A and B. You would think that this accessory is used to charge the machine, but in reality it is just a control means in the game.

Panic just announced the opening of pre-orders for July 2021, priced at $179 each. As for the games, the company remains vague, but explained that it plans to make new games available every week in order to maintain the suspense, a bit like episodes of a TV series. So the first season will have the automatic installation of new games for twelve weeks, or 24 games to keep. No information is available for the following seasons.

Finally, Panic announced two other points of interest. The first concerns the marketing of a Bluetooth docking station with stereo speakers, the price of which is unknown. The second relates to the ability for players to: make their own games. Panic wants to offer this feature to users and will release editing tools for free.