Crank-based portable gaming curio Playdate has now sold over 53,000 units – more than twice the number its creator Panic had originally forecast.
Playdate was initially announced back in 2019, promising a unique (and dinkily adorable) spin on portable gaming that would see Panic teaming up with a host of noted indie game designers – including the likes of Zach Gage and Bennett Foddy – to produce a curated 24-game “season”, as well as offering itch.io sideloading support and, more recently, an on-device store.
It was a pitch that clearly captured peoples’ imaginations; Panic has now revealed the initial 20,000 Playdate units it produced based on its early sales predictions sold out within 20 minutes of the device being made available to purchase via a queue system last April.
Panic says Playdate pre-order sales of the monochrome device (which recently saw its price rise to $199 USD) are now more than double the amount it initially anticipated, with 53,142 units having been purchased to date. 27,000 of those Playdates have now been shipped to customers, it notes, with the rest due to be delivered by the end of this year.
“To have now sold more than 53,000 (and counting) is heartening,” the company wrote in a statement accompanying the news. “And this, at a time when parts shortages forced our delivery lead-times out as much as a year. As those lead-times shorten and Playdate delivery becomes more immediate, we’re looking forward to an even better Year Two.”
Eurogamer’s Christian Donlan was extremely smitten with Playdate when he reviewed it last year, calling it “a fascinating puzzle in itself”, while Eurogamer contributor and anthropologist Edward Hawkes recently took one on an adventure to the Tanzanian wilderness, appreciating its quirky charms in the shadow of a baobab tree.