Playdate is made in Malaysia, a new handheld console

by Yong Chi Winn
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Ever heard of indie games such as Campo Santo’s Firewatch and Untitled Goose Game (the one where you play as an annoying goose harassing a poor farmer)? If you have then you probably know Panic Inc. They are the publishers of both of those games. Panic Inc. also made one of the best coding software out there for macOS – Coda. And now, they’re dabbling in making a handheld console known as Playdate.

Functioning as a self-funded company, they figured, “Why not? We can do whatever we want!”and that was how the idea of making a console was conceived. Panic’s upcoming handheld console is a small yellow square that looks almost like a Gameboy but with a crank. Yep, a crank. It also has the usual d-pad and two buttons A and B. Playdate also have Bluetooth capability plus a 3.5mm audio jack, your AirPods have no power here.

What games will be on Playdate?

The crank, Playdate’s unique selling point, will be the focus of upcoming games for it. It currently already has several exclusives in development from notable indie game devs. Notably, Keita Takahashi (Katamari Damacy) and Bennett Foddy (Getting Over it).

On launch, Playdate will come with a season pass that lasts three months. 12 games are currently planned for Season One. One of the game include will be Crankin’s Time Travel made by Keita Takahashi. You’ll play a stickman, Crankin’. With the help of the crank, the game features a forward and backward time travel mechanic that will eventually lead you to your date, Crankette. Take a look below on how it works. Though, they did note on their website that some game will utilize the crank exclusively whilst some other might not even use it at all.

So what about Malaysia?

Hello fellow Malaysians. Did I clickbaited you with the title? 😛 Wait, wait – don’t click away, hear me out! Playdate really IS made in Malaysia. In fact, in a state that probably didn’t even occur to you – Sungai Petani, Kedah! A Twitter user, Az Samad (@azsamad) pointed out a “Made in Malaysia” is on the back of the handheld. Dave Hayden, one of the figure working on Playdate, confirmed it. Here’s the tweet:

Turns out the people at Panic Inc. is a big fan of Malaysia, especially Nasi Lemak.

Playdate will be launching in early 2020. The current confirmed price is $149 (MYR 642). If you’re interested in getting your hands on Playdate, make sure to subscribe to their newsletter here via their official website. Stock will be very limited, so if you really want Playdate, go follow them!

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