This tiny $150 video game console has a black-and-white screen and a hand crank, and people are already going crazy for it

PanicPlaydate is a tiny new video game console that fits in the palm of your hand.
  • Panic, a company best-known for software development, will release a new portable video game console called Playdate.
  • Playdate has a black-and-white screen, and an odd hand crank that’s used to control its games.
  • Playdate will have 12 exclusive games created by indie game developers, and Panic plans to release one per week after Playdate launches in early 2020.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Playdate is a bizarre new video game console with a black-and-white screen and hand crank created by software-maker Panic. While the tiny handheld has a simple retro style, it’s equipped with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, a USB-C connector, and a headphone jack. Thankfully, the console will have its own battery so you wont need to spin the crank to keep it charged.

The portable console will sell for $US150 and comes with 12 exclusive games designed by popular indie developers, including Keita Takahashi (“Katamari Damacy”), Zach Gage (“SpellTower”), Bennett Foddy (“QWOP”), and Shaun Inman (“The Last Rocket”).

Playdate is expected to launch in early 2020; Panic will release one new game per week over the course of a 12-week season. Panic announced the handheld device with a detailed Twitter thread on May 23rd and people are already signing up to buy one as soon as they become available.

This won’t be Panic’s first foray into video games- the software company also published the indie-hit “Firewatch” in 2016 and will release another indie title, “Untitled Goose Game,” later this year. Playdate looks to have some very unique games as well. Some games will be controlled using just the hand crank while others will only use the standard buttons on the front of the device.

Playdate began as a pet project for Panic four years ago, and the company partnered with Stockholm-based Teenage Engineering to complete design.

You can sign up for updates on Playdate on the console’s official website. Panic will also share more information on the @playdate Twitter account.

Here’s what some people are saying about the odd new video game console so far:

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