On April 18th 2023 (just over a year ago), the team at Panic started delivery on their lovingly unique handheld device. On this first anniversary, they shared some information on the Playdate sales figures. More specifically, the amount that has been sold. Across their initial shipping countries, they have sold 53,142 devices. That is a wonderfully exact number.
What’s a Playdate?
For those of you who don’t know, the Playdate is a small, yellow gaming handheld with a black-and-white screen, 1-bit graphics and a crank on one side. Additionally, it is a game-dedicated device, deviating somewhat from the idea that everything with a screen has to be a multimedia hub filled with video streaming apps and the like.
Pre-orders went live for the Playdate on July 29th, 2021. In a cautious move, Panic planned to manufacture just 20,000 units. They were unsure if there was enough demand to sell them. All those units would then proceed to be sold in under 20 minutes.
Greg Maletic, Playdate Project Lead at Panic had this to say about the success. “It’s been a great year for Playdate. 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 future is yellow
As of writing, 27,000 Playdate pre-orders have shipped. The team fully expect to deliver all pre-orders by the end of 2023. Overall, it seems to have been a runaway success that has surpassed even the modest target set by Panic. Or so the Playdate sales figures have indicated. Good stuff all around.