What is known about the Panic Playdate to date by @design_jem on @Medium #Gaming

Josh McGrath documents on Medium a compendium of information on Panic’s announced Playdate handheld game system.

…(Playdate) a completely brand new video game platform designed and developed (even the operating system) by Panic, and backed by a coterie of indie game darlings … I have been scouring every source I can find (Twitter, podcasts, Edge Magazine’s fantastic profile) for any tidbit of information about this strange yellow device. … Panic worked on the project in secret for four years, revealing virtually nothing about it until now … As this information is scattered, I have put together a roundup of all the bits and bobs of information I could find. Just the facts, as it were — with a smattering of editorializing where appropriate.

An exploded diagram of the Playdate, animated

The article is broken into two sections: the first is a list of facts about Playdate, the second is a more in-depth analysis of the technical side of Playdate based on SDK notes Panic released. Just a sample:

Speeds & Feeds

  • The system runs on an ARM CPU and will have 16 MB of external RAM plus 320 KB of on-board RAM. That’s like eleven floppy disks!
  • Storage amount is unclear, but it will be gigs-worth and solid state. I have been wondering if the OS supports swap memory, but have not found any statements about this one way or the other yet. Edit: Greg Maletic of Panic tells me the storage size is 2 GB.
  • Most games will run at 30 FPS, though in some cases the OS UI will run at 50 FPS.

If you’re interested in Playdate, see the compendium here.

And if you want a shot at making crank controlled games, etc. see this post by Adafruit about making one with the Adafruit PyGamer:


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