Panic, a video game publisher, has just made an out of the ordinary decision, which was to introduce a new handheld game console, Playdate.

Panic made its name as a software company, but it seems that the Portland-based company has had some changes in its direction, into the field of publishing video games, starting with Firewatch (developed by Campo Santo). In this year, Panic will continue to publish House House’s Untitled Goose Game. As revealed in a thread about the Playdate’s announcement on Twitter, the company is self-funded, so it can be understandable that the company wants to explore a new field beside games and software.

We are all curious about the final product of a console from Panic, a recent face in video game producing. With the help of Teenage Engineering, the darling of product engineering, Panic has eventually introduced a Game Boy- designed console in eye-catching yellow color with a small hand crank from Teenage Engineering.

Playdate console

And for those who are thinking that the crank is used to charge the console, it’s a no (it has a USB type C charger). The crank is a control input for video games to the handheld. Keita Takahashi - the creator of Katamari Damacy and also one of the top game developers – will be working on a game explicitly using that hand crank on the Playdate.

Panic was also delighted to receive a nod from other top creators for new games released on the Playdate, including Zach Gage, Shaun Inman, and Bennett Foddy. The video game console not only has Bluetooth and wifi capabilities but also allows its user to download twelve brand new video games from different developers, one for each week. These games are said to be part of season 1, which suggests that next seasons are currently in the works.

Device Interior 80
The inside of Playdate console

With the price of $149 for pre-orders, this well-designed console will ship in early 2020. Although the company hasn’t opened for pre-orders, you can turn on a notification on the website of Playdate.