Here's What the Handheld Gaming System Playdate Looks Like in Action

There are still loads of questions surrounding Playdate, the handheld gaming system recently announced by Panic. Some design specifications have been announced, and we've seen the little yellow box that is the system in multiple images, but 11 out of 12 games in the first "season" are still a secret, and how they'll play exactly is a mystery. We hadn't even seen it physically in action. That is, until now.

Thanks to a new video demo captured by Kohichi Aoki at what appears to be either a gathering at or near BitSummit, an annual indie game festival in Japan, the actual screen and crank for Playdate can be seen in use. The video shows off Crankin's Time Travel Adventure by Keita Takahashi, creator of Katamari Damacy. Here's how Panic described the game in the press release which announced Playdate:

"This game uses the crank exclusively to control the flow of time, backwards and forwards. Your goal? Get Crankin' to his date with Crankette while avoiding an ever-increasing series of ridiculous obstacles — obstacles that aren't affected by the time control. Will Crankin' make it to his rendezvous on-time? (Spoiler alert: no)"

The description appears to be apt as the video shows off multiple incidents where poor Crankin' tries to go on dates only to meet some unfortunate hindrance. It's worth noting that the video does appear to show some strange glitching on the screen from time to time, but Panic claims it's likely a framerate issue between the screen itself and camera capture—which is a fairly common problem when recording screens of this nature—and not something that's actually happening on the Playdate's screen. Even so, if it's the same unit that The Verge saw at the festival, it's marked "evaluation only" and not representative of the final product.

What do you think? Are you into Playdate, or are you still on the fence? Let us know in the comments!

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Playdate will sell for $149 when it launches in early 2020. For those interested in learning more about the system, Edge #333 includes an in-depth profile of its creation.