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Unboxing the Playdate – A first look at the tiny console

Take a look gamers and feast your eyes on one of the tiniest handheld consoles ever made. It’s called the Playdate and we’ve got our hands on one.

Made as a joint collaboration between games publisher Panic and manufacturer Teenage Engineering, the Playdate is unlike any console we’ve ever tested. As a clear homage to the original Game Boy (just look at that yellow coat of paint), the Playdate feels like a callback to retro gaming, but there are a few modern amenities that can be found under the hood.

The Playdate is small enough to fit into the palm of your hand

Unfortunately, we can’t detail what those are until the review embargo drops on April 18, but what we can show you are plenty of pictures of the device itself and a quick run-down of the hardware.

Aside from its miniature size – the Playdate can easily fit into the palm of your hand – the console’s main attraction is easily its rotating crank. This input, which can be stowed away when not in use, can be utilised in any number of ways as it’s entirely up to a developer’s discretion.

The back cover of the Playdate console

Of course there are typical A and B buttons and a directional pad for a more traditional playstyle, but the crank certainly adds an air of novelty for the ways in which it might be put to use.

While the device has a built-in speaker that can be found just to the right of the display, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom of the console for anyone who’d rather keep the audio experience to themselves.

The Playdate features a tiny crank that can be used to interact with games

There’s also a USB-C port for charging, which is handy if you already use USB-C cables for compatible devices such as an Android phone or the Nintendo Switch.

Speaking of Nintendo’s portable console, we’ve made sure to include a photo comparison below between the Switch OLED and the Playdate to give you a better idea of just how small this thing really is.

The Playdate sat atop the Nintendo Switch OLED

There isn’t long to go until you can read our final verdict on the Playdate, but if you just can’t wait until then, you can always check out an unboxing video over at our sister site, Recombu.

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