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Panic sold 20,000 preorders in under 20 minutes for its wacky Playdate handheld

If you missed the initial 20,000 batch, your order will not ship until 2022.

playdate handheld console
Image: KnowTechie

The Panic Playdate is an all-new handheld gaming console that’s looking to put retro games back in the hands of gamers around the world. The console is currently accepting preorders, but new orders won’t be shipped out until sometime in 2022.

We talked about the Playdate a little over a month ago when Panic, the company behind the console, revealed its plans for launching the retro machine. The Playdate is a unique console, with a fully functioning crank control on the right side that is used in various games on the console.

Speaking of games, Playdate has a unique system of delivering games to its users. Instead of cartridges that you would have to buy, the console will deliver games digitally to all users as they are come out. The company plans to release two games per week over a 24-week first season, and all of them will be free of charge to all Playdate owners.

While most orders won’t be shipped out until 2022, the first 20,000 units are expected to ship in late 2021. But if you were hoping to be one of those people and haven’t preordered yet, you’re out of luck. It is estimated that the first 20,000 preorders were gone within 20 minutes of the launch.

The console is currently still available for preorder on the Playdate website. For $179, you get the Playdate console and USB-C charger, as well as free access to the 24 games that come out as part of the console’s first season. Although there will be some waiting time before preorders for the Playdate ship, it looks to me like it’ll be worth the wait.

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