Playdate more than doubles its original sales expectations


Panic’s quirky handheld, Playdate, has sold over 50,000 units – more than doubling the firm’s estimates for its first year on sale.


It’s now a full year since Playdate, Portland-based firm Panic’s diminutive handheld games machine, first launched. To mark the occasion, Panic has shared some sales data – and it’s good news for the quirky portable.

To date, 53,142 Playdates have been sold since pre-orders opened in July 2021. According to Panic’s press release, the firm only planned to manufacture 20,000 units, and wasn’t sure whether “demand would be there to sell those 20,000 units in a timely fashion.”

Instead, the initial run of 20,000 Playdates sold within 20 minutes of those pre-orders going live.

“It’s been a great year for Playdate,” said Panic’s Greg Maletic in that press release. “When we started, we had no idea how big the audience would be for a weird product like this, but we told the factory: build 20,000. To have now sold more than 53,000 (and counting) is heartening. 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.”

The downside to this demand, of course, is that there are still around 26,000 customers who still haven’t received their handheld, though Panic says it expects “to deliver all pre-orders by the end of the year.”

Rising production costs also saw the price of the Playdate rise from $179 to $199 earlier this month. Pre-orders for Playdate are open on Panic’s site, with an estimated ship date of “late 2023”.

For those who do own a Playdate, the system’s roster of games has grown considerably since launch, with over 400 titles available to download from Panic also launched Catalog in March – an app that streamlines the process of loading games onto the Playdate.

With its lo-fi hardware and dedicated software dev kit, Playdate has provided a welcoming venue for indie developers – we spoke to a few of them last year, shortly after the handheld’s launch.

Read more: Don’t Panic! – How the Playdate injects a bit of whimsy into handheld gaming

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More like this