WHILE SONY AND MICROSOFT gear up to release next-gen consoles, there's a new handheld console on the horizon in the form go the Playdate, and it comes with an, er, crank arm.
Playdate is the brainchild of developer Panic, the folks behind Firewatch, and looks like someone mashed an iPod and Nintendo Game Boy together, glued a crank arm to its right side, and swaddled it with a canary yellow paint job.
Measuring 74×76 ×9mm, the console comes with a 2.7in black-and-white display; this doesn't sound like much, but that screen promises to offer a high-resolution that's nice and clear, rather than low-fi like the dot matrix display of the original Game Boy.
Other notable hardware bits include a USB-C and a 3.5mm headphone port, as well as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity.
On the software side, the Playdate will use a custom operating system created by that has been designed to run indie games created by a team of experienced indie developers.
These games for this, er, unique console, will be centred around the crank, which resembles the arm of a fishing rod reel; think games that require obstacle navigation and movement based on how fast the arm is rotated. But Panic did note that some titles won't make use of the arm exclusively, and some might shun it altogether.
Panic didn't reveal much about the games but noted: "Some are short, some long, some are experimental, some traditional. All are fun."
Oh yeah, the crank! No, it doesn't power the device. It's a flip-out rotational controller that puts a fresh spin on fun. Some games use it exclusively, some use it with the d-pad, and some not at all. pic.twitter.com/XYW97nLZKK— Playdate (@playdate) 22 May 2019
And the games will be delivered in the form of a "season" of titles, whereby the console will come with 12 titles, but only one will be available when the Playdate is first turned on, with another title being pushed out each week after that initial powering on.
It's an odd way to distribute games, but we guess it could be one way to get people to concentrate and really experience a tile rather than aimlessly dip in and out of different options.
As far as consoles go, the Playdate is definitely out of the left field and makes the Nintendo Switch look positively pedestrian.
If the idea of cranking an arm for gaming pleasure gets you hot and bothered, then you can register your interest in the $149 (£118) console right now, but be prepared to wait until some point in 2020 for it to be released. µ
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