It’s probably safe to call the Nintendo Game Boy a phenomenon. After all, it created the handheld gaming console category as we know it today. Despite a boom in retro gaming popularity, its biggest downside in the modern age is probably the outdated onboard tech. The folks at Panic (the brilliant studio responsible for bringing us Firewatch), however, have created a spiritual successor for the Internet Age in their Playdate.
Obviously, the Playdate was inspired by the Game Boy Pocket from 1997. And while the retro styling is spot-on, it’s loaded with modern upgrades. For instance, it doesn’t use game cartridges. Rather, purchasing the Playdate gives users access to 12 games released once a week that are automatically loaded onto the console wirelessly — with the possibility of more to come at a later date. Along with its WiFi connectivity, it also comes Bluetooth-ready, has a simple 2.7″ LCD screen and built-in speaker, and features a unique side-mounted crank that acts as a supplementary control alongside the normal directional and action buttons. With slated game releases from the likes of Keita Takahashi (Katamari Damacy) and Zach Gage (Ridiculous Fishing), this retro-revolutionary handheld is set for a 2020 release with pre-orders for $149 kicking off later this year.