Hyped for the retro-style Playdate? You may not have to wait long: the Playdate pre-order date has been announced, and you can lock down one of the funky analog consoles on July 29 starting at 10am PDT.
In addition to a pre-order date, the Playdate twitter account also announced that the first 20,000 preorders should ship in late 2021, while others will ship in 2022. That's as close as we're going to get for a Playdate release date, though there's still a lot that could shift the window.
In just one week, it's time to pre-order your Playdate.Join us on Thursday, July 29th 2021, at 10:00 AM PDT. pic.twitter.com/WXWVBZvUI1July 22, 2021
As the tweet notes, only the Playdate and its cover are available to pre-order, with the multi-function Playdate Stereo Dock available to secure later.
Still, we could see more info surface when units start to ship - if not an exact release date, perhaps we’ll get a better idea of when folks should see their Playdates arrive on their doorstep.
- Steam Deck: everything we know about Valve's handheld PC
- Amazon's MMO isn't just breaking Nvidia RTX 3090s – no GPU is safe
- Best retro games consoles 2021: the top nostalgic gaming revivals
Retro 'cranksole' finally coming to play
The Playdate wowed gamers when it was revealed ahead of E3 2019. With its monochrome screen, old-school Game-and-Watch style layout, analog buttons, and even a crank, the console made an impact on a crowd eager for info on the then-unreleased Xbox Series X and PS5; by comparison, the Playdate evoked tactile gaming of yore rather than bleeding-edge ray traced graphics of the future.
The console, dreamed up by lauded device maker Teenage Engineering in partnership with the gaming company Panic (publishers of Firewatch and Untitled Goose Game), was originally expected to come out in 2020. The year came and went without the company announcing a new release window, and we weren’t sure if we’d ever see it - and then in June, a chunky dock accessory was announced with a stand, charger, speaker, and even stylus holster for the so-called ‘Playdate Pen.’
Aside from a slightly concerning official tweet about Covid concerns at the production facility, the pre-order news is the best info we've gotten yet about the Playdate's release. Best case: buyers will only have to wait until late 2021 to finally start cranking out some fun.
- Stay on top of tech news with the TechRadar newsletter
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
David is now a mobile reporter at Cnet. Formerly Mobile Editor, US for TechRadar, he covered phones, tablets, and wearables. He still thinks the iPhone 4 is the best-looking smartphone ever made. He's most interested in technology, gaming and culture – and where they overlap and change our lives. His current beat explores how our on-the-go existence is affected by new gadgets, carrier coverage expansions, and corporate strategy shifts.