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As the video game industry gets progressively bigger, bulkier, and, just, “more” (take a look at the weirdly futuristic Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X), it’s refreshing to come across something new that manages to feel lost to time. In the best way possible. The Playdate, announced in 2019, is just that. Oozing with charm, nostalgia, and pure joy, this brightly colored handheld console has been one of the most anticipated releases in the industry. And Panic, who are releasing the Playdate, just announced that they will be accepting pre-orders for the Playdate starting at the end of July 2021.

Panic, Inc. are the team responsible for games like Firewatch and Untitled Goose Game. So it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’re producing such a cutesy console. The Playdate, which features a simplified control set-up (just directional arrows and “A” and “B” buttons) as well as a crank arm, will be available for $179. It can also be bundled with a protective cover/case for a total of $199. Plus, Panic unveiled the Playdate Stereo Dock, which serves as a Bluetooth speaker and charging dock. The Stereo Dock doesn’t have a price yet.

Once the Playdate launches, there will be two new games released every week. You can find the full list of games here. Plus, developers can create their own games for the Playdate using the free-to-download Pulp game maker. So there are endless possibilities.

The Playdate likely won’t reinvent the video game industry but the pure aesthetic charm and return to “simplified” gaming with a pocket console shows that there’s room for variety in video games.

Want to read more about charming video games? We’ve written about some of the most most beautiful video games we’ve ever played.

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