Playdate is getting a curated store and a slight price hike

Playdate, the unique handheld game with a crank, finally got its on-system storefront Catalog today. That update is preceded by a small price increase for the system, which will start selling for $199 instead of $179.

This news came during Panic’s first Playdate Update showcase in 2023, which was mostly focused on the introduction of the Catalog and the launch of this game line. When players find a game they want on the storefront, they can crank up to buy it when their credit card information is connected to their account. Its launch lineup will include two free games made by developers from marginalized communities: Steel Reel and Recommended Dog!!!

Some of the other notable games that are part of the Catalog launch line include Carve Jr.Chuhai Labs’ crank-based snowboarding game that Digital Trends tested last year, Blooma flower shop management game that plays in real time, and shillingan endless runner Playdate spin-off of the upcoming game The End work. Here’s the full list of the 17 catalog launch games sorted by price.

  • Steel Reel (free)
  • Dog Recommendation (free)
  • A Joke That’s Worth .99¢ ($1)
  • Earth in the eye ($2)
  • Below the Oubliette ($5)
  • Engine swapone ($5)
  • Skew – A The Last Job Spinoff ($6)
  • Grand Tour Legends ($6)
  • Hidey Spot ($6)
  • Word Trip ($6)
  • Carve Jr. ($8)
  • The Botanist ($9)
  • Tapeworm Disco Puzzle ($9)
  • The Botanist ($9)
  • Bloom ($10)
  • Direct Drive ($15)
  • Playmaker ($15)

Starting today, players can get games for themselves through the Catalog. Panic doesn’t know how often it updates the store, but you’ll know new games have been added when the light above your Playdate flashes blue.

This is the most comprehensive update that Playdate has received since its launch. While this means Panic’s quirky handheld system is alive and well, this showcase reveals some bad news for those who don’t yet own a Playdate: its price will go up. Previously priced at $179, those who order a Playdate after April 7 must pay $199 for the system. Panic co-founder Cabel Sasser says that this change is due to the fact that “the price of building a Playdate will increase.”

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