According to Panic, its first batch of preorders for Playdate units went live and then sold out in less than 20 minutes.
Gamers have been buzzing for months about the Playdate, but there was no way to tell if all the excitement would translate to actual sales until preorders for the retro gaming device opened earlier this week. Well, the numbers are in, and the Playdate has proven to be a smashing success.
Panic, the team developing the Playdate, had committed to producing and shipping 20,000 units of the Playdate for 2021. Anyone who made an order before that first batch ran out will be receiving their Playdate later this year. The company is still accepting orders and payments, but any orders now won’t be shipped until at least 2022.
Panic apparently weren’t expecting such an influx of traffic on the opening day of preorders. The company’s servers went down for a brief moment shortly after preorders began. After Panic sorted out its server issues, tragedy struck twice when the plug-in they used for handling international orders crashed. Some unfortunate users had their orders fail to go through before the first batch’s orders were sold out.
And the orders keep pouring in. In fact, some within the company are already talking about 2023, though Panic’s official notes say getting to that point will “take a while.”
The Playdate is a new handheld gaming console with a retro design that’s a clear throwback to the classic Game Boy. The handheld is intentionally primitive with a black-and-white screen, few buttons, and a crank jutting out of its right side that players can twist and turn to produce inputs. Its producers at Panic previously launched a number of apps on the Mac and also had a hand in shipping Untitled Goose Game and Firewatch. The Playdate is being sold for $179 and will feature a suite of original games released two-at-a-time in weekly waves (or “seasons,” as the team at Panic calls them).
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