Tech company Panic, the group behind the Playdate hand-cranked handheld gaming system, has announced that the price for new orders on the platform will be increasing soon. Recently, Panic devs announced that starting in April 2023, new Playdate orders will be increased in price. Current Playdate orders and those leading up to the price change will remain at the original price.
Panic announced the update on the Playdate’s price via a community update video posted on its YouTube channel on March 7, 2023. The Playdate’s retail price will go from $179 to $199 and the new price will be locked in on April 7, 2023. Orders already in place or coming in before April 7 will be locked in at the $179 price. Panic co-founder Cabel Sasser shared details on what’s going on with the price increases in the video. Simply put, the cost of manufacturing the Playdate has increased, and while the company has tried to stay steady on the price even as cost went up, recent increases in price of supplies and assembly for the Playdate have now made it too difficult to maintain the original $179 price point.
The Playdate is hardly the first bit of tech to get a price increase in recent seasons. Even larger companies like Tesla have felt the strain of inflation, and Meta also increased the price of Quest VR headsets before recently bringing them down a bit. For a smaller-scale startup like Panic and the Playdate, while the product is clearly popular, the team has to consider longevity.
Nonetheless, Playdate has a lot going for it. Panic is launching free games, as well as a store on the platform where players can explore new apps and projects. With the price change going into effect in April, if you want to get in at the current price, consider picking one up now.