Panic's cute handheld gaming system will play on larger screens, too

Great news for streamers. Now when can we buy one?

Here at Input, we are all about small handheld devices that really pack a punch. From the iPhone 12 mini to the foldable FunKey GameBoy Advance emulator, we’re ready to open our wallets for anything cute and playable.

The Playdate ticks every box necessary to pique our attention. The forthcoming handheld gaming console is being developed by Panic, the studio behind indie hit Untitled Goose Game, and so far the only part we don’t like is the lack of a release date. It’s brightly colored, it fits in a standard pocket, and — perhaps most exciting — it has a hand crank. A hand crank that you actually use for gameplay.

While we wait for a release date, Panic has been keeping us occupied with feature updates. Today’s is particularly intriguing: you’ll be able to plug the Playdate into your computer and mirror its screen in real-time. That could make it interesting to another subset of gamers entirely.

Bring on the streaming — Handhelds are very fun, if you ask us, but they’re not always appealing to people who prefer their gaming to be public. Allowing the Playdate to be mirrored onto your computer, Panic is opening it up to the ever-growing Twitch crowd.

The Playdate will connect to your Mac, PC, or Linux computer via an app. It looks small in the video shared today, but Panic clarified in a reply tweet that the app can be resized. You can even use the app’s virtual controls to play games as they’re being mirrored.

Cute and innovative — It’s one thing to create a handheld that’s fun to look at; it’s another mission entirely to create one that pushes the boundaries on mainstream gaming. The Playdate hopes to do just that, most noticeably with that wild hand-crank — which, by the way, is made by the design gods over at Teenage Engineering. It’s not often that we see a new input method that actually looks fun to use.


The Playdate is also pushing boundaries with its model for releasing original games. Panic will be releasing one new game each week for 12 weeks after the console’s release — and they’re all included with the price of the device itself (a steal at $149).

It’s been almost two years since Panic announced the development of its first handheld. If you, like us, are now very invested in the Playdate’s future, Panic has set up a Twitter account just for “important news.” It’s empty right now, we’re following it closely with our wallets in-hand.