Panic's handheld gaming device called the "Playdate" went on sale for the first time this week, and based on the number of units sold, it looks like people did indeed think the device was as charming and entertaining as past praises had suggested. The creators planned for 20,000 units exactly to be made for 2021, and after the dust from the pre-order commotion settled, it was confirmed that the stock for this year was already sold out and was gone in under 20 minutes.
Over on the site for the Playdate device, the pre-orders are still open for those who want one, but it now says you won't get your handheld until 2022. A notice beneath that said that Panic had ordered 20,000 unites for this year and will make even more next year based on demand. TechCrunch confirmed with Panic that the shipping estimator was correct and that it switched over to 2022 estimates for Playdates before 20 minutes had gone by.
The Playdate device was previewed several times before it went on sale with Panic showing off its games and some of the unique features it boasts like the crank on the side of the handheld gaming system. The crank isn't used for power and is instead a control option just like the face buttons or the D-pad on the device. It's used for things like reeling in fish in a fishing game among other mechanics.
The games the Playdate boasts are originals, too, so you won't find them elsewhere. You also won't be popping any cartridges into this device since everything that can be played is stored right on the Playdate. Panic confirmed that games will be given out in seasons with 24 games being distributed to players two at a time over 12 weeks for the first season. Those games are free after purchasing the Playdate, too, so you don't have to buy them once you've gotten the device.
If all this sounds enticing but you still haven't pre-ordered a Playdate yet, you'll be waiting a while longer now that the site gives a 2022 estimate. Panic's been pretty transparent about its plans for the Playdate and pre-order efforts thus far, so look for more updates from Panic about stock this year and next as they come.