Playdate the Portable Gaming Device with BW Screen and Crank for $199

By Todd Russell Mar11,2024

There are so many different mini consoles, portables and other game hardware these days that it’s pretty much impossible for one gamer to keep up with all of them, much less play them. I remember the Playdate for the unique crank handle and PGM members covering it.

Raskull was that first to share his Playdate owner experience on his YouTube channel, with an unboxing over a year ago (yikes, has this device been out that long?).

Sure enough, looking at the official Playdate site:

What a great name for a game manufacturer: Panic. Just screams gaming — now! Anyway, this Playdate is unique for that crank, plus the focus from indie developers and the black and white screen which reminds of the original Game Boy. Add all this together and the $199 price seems a little more compelling to me. Think I would play this for those crank games.

I asked Raskull about the games using the crank specifically and he shared the Root Beer game above that uses the crank to control the pour. Ok, yes, I want to play this. Then there’s A Balanced Brew ( that normally sells for $5 and during the sale is $2, that also uses the crank.

Also, owing to my heart, Raskull noted that “many [Playdate] games come with leaderboards.”

More recently PGM Member erbwars talked about games he picked up on his YouTube channel during a sale that runs from March 7-14, 2024, see below embed.

Thanks erbwars and Raskull!

Told my wife this might make a good Father’s Day gift. Not sure if she was listening or not. Most of my portable gaming time is being devoured by the Steam Deck (love the Steam Deck), but there is room for something like this that is small, very portable and has a unique controller with that crank.

Anybody else interested in Playdate? Or already have one and enjoying it?

I’m cutting back in 2024 on my games-related purchases, because trying to work through the unplayed PC games (see: 2024 Resolution: Play ALL My Unplayed PC Games + How To Create Dynamic Unplayed Steam Collection) but feel like when I’m out in the field working and taking a break, something like Playdate might fit in here and there. That crank controller!

Would love to hear what others think of this device in the comments?

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3 thoughts on “Playdate the Portable Gaming Device with BW Screen and Crank for $199”
  1. I’ll be honest I didn’t even know this system existed until reading this article. It looks very interesting, and I would love to try it out. I’ll add it to my wish list, but it’s not something I would be in a hurry to rush out and get especially at its price point.

  2. hi Todd!

    Your interest level is much higher than mine. other then the crank this look like a knock-off Game Boy from years ago. The graphics aren’t even colorized and at $199 it’s way overpriced. I’d much have buy the awesome Sony PSP or a Nintendo Switch if I want a full featured portable device.

    1. The black and white screen games have a certain charm to them, just like black and white classic TV shows. Do agree the price on this is higher than it should be, though. It’s not a “must have” but more of a “curious and want to check out and play.”

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