Panic sells its initial batch of 20,000 Playdate handhelds in under 20 minutes

Panic’s Playdate handheld gaming device has hit the ground running. The quirky game machine’s maker committed to building 20,000 examples for 2021 but seemingly underestimated demand as they were all spoken for in under 20 minutes.

Panic said it would make even more for 2022, promising to adjust production based on demand. Judging by what we’ve seen thus far, they’re going to be very busy next year.

The initial batch of 20,000 Playdates went up for pre-order yesterday afternoon and according to TechCrunch (via a Panic rep), the entire allotment sold in under 20 minutes.

Unfortunately, the pre-order drop wasn’t without issue. Panic ran into some technical issues relating to its international order processing system. The company said there was also a slight problem with its stock tracking system which incorrectly showed the device as being sold out for some potential buyers.

Panic is still accepting pre-orders for the Playdate, but they won’t ship until sometime in 2022. Pricing for the whimsical handheld is set at $179, which includes 24 games. It’s a bit on the minimalistic side, with a small monochrome display and no microSD card slot. The Playdate does include a unique input device in the form of a hand crank that is cleverly utilized by some games.

Early reviews were largely favorable, with one publication labeling it as a Game Boy from a different dimension.