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Pre-orders for Panic’s Playdate handheld will open on July 29th

Playdate, the adorable whimsy-and-nostalgia-box/handheld game system built by Panic (with some help from Teenage Engineering), has taken one more big step toward reality: it has an official pre-order date. And it’s soon!

The company announced this morning that pre-orders for the handheld will go live on July 29th at 10 a.m pacific.

Looking to get one from the first batch? Here’s the other stuff you need to know:

The handheld will cost $179, and they’ll be selling an optional case accessory for $29. They’re offering both as a bundle for $199, saving you a couple bucks if you already know you want both. No word yet on when the previously announced docking station will go on sale.
It sounds like the actual ship date still isn’t fully locked in, but Panic says the first batch (20,000 units or so) should start going out “towards the end of the year,” with additional units going out in 2022. The company stresses that they’re not capping pre-orders so they can’t really “sell out”, but ordering earlier means getting it sooner.
Pre-orders will be capped at two per person.

Panic first announced the Playdate in 2019. Games on the Playdate are released in “seasons”; in season one, two new titles will be released each week for twelve weeks. As experimental as it is charming, Panic is pretty open about what to expect of the titles. From their product page: “Some are short. Some are long. Will you love them all? Probably not. Will you have a great time trying them? Absolutely.”