Home Gadgets Playdate is bumping its price to $199 in April

Playdate is bumping its price to $199 in April

by George Gray

Playdate, the upcoming handheld gaming console from Panic Inc., is set to raise its price to $199 in April. The announcement has caused a stir among fans who were eagerly awaiting the device’s release, as the initial price was set at $149.

Playdate has been generating buzz ever since it was announced in 2019. Developed by Panic Inc., a software company known for its Mac and iOS apps, the device has been touted as a new kind of gaming experience. The console is small and portable, with a black-and-white screen and a hand crank on the side that can be used to control gameplay. It comes with a variety of games, including titles from renowned indie developers like Keita Takahashi, the creator of Katamari Damacy.

The console’s unique design and focus on indie games have garnered it a lot of attention. The company initially planned to release the console in late 2020, but production delays pushed the launch to later this year.

The decision to raise the price of Playdate to $199 was announced in a blog post by Panic Inc. co-founder Cabel Sasser. In the post, Sasser explained that the company had originally intended to sell the console at cost, but production costs had ended up being higher than anticipated. He also noted that the company had received feedback from people who felt that the initial price of $149 was too low.

“We heard from a lot of people that they were surprised at the price and that it seemed too low,” Sasser wrote. “We did some soul-searching and came to the conclusion that we needed to raise the price to ensure that we can continue to make the best possible product.”

The decision has been met with mixed reactions from fans of the device. Some have expressed disappointment that the price has been raised, while others have noted that the original price of $149 seemed too good to be true for a device with such a unique design and features.

There are also concerns that the higher price point could make the console less accessible to some potential buyers. Indie games and unique gaming experiences have historically been associated with lower price points, and some worry that the $199 price tag could limit the console’s audience.

Despite these concerns, it’s worth noting that the Playdate is still significantly cheaper than many other gaming consoles on the market. The Nintendo Switch, for example, starts at $299, while the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X both cost upwards of $500. Additionally, the Playdate’s focus on indie games could make it a compelling option for gamers looking for something different from the usual AAA titles.

Ultimately, whether the higher price point is a good decision for Panic Inc. will depend on how well the device is received when it finally launches later this year. The company has promised to release more information about the console in the coming weeks, including details on the games that will be included and how to purchase the device.

In the meantime, fans of the device will have to decide whether the $199 price tag is worth it for a device that promises to offer a unique gaming experience. For those who are already sold on the Playdate, the higher price point may be disappointing, but it’s unlikely to be a dealbreaker. For others, the higher price could be a barrier to entry for what is still an unproven device.

Overall, the decision to raise the price of Playdate is a reminder that developing a new gaming console is an expensive and risky venture. Panic Inc. has taken a chance on a device that is unlike anything else on the market, and it remains to be seen whether the higher price point will pay off. For now, all we can do is wait and see what the future holds for this unique handheld console.

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