The Panic Playdate Handheld Console Resold For $750

Resellers tripled their money on this handheld

Panic Playdate For Sale
News

By RC Staff

Key Points:

  • Cult-favorite software developer Panic (of Firewatch/Untitled Goose Game fame) released the anticipated handheld console, Playdate, for a retail price of $179

  • The console is unique and notable in that it has a mechanical crank on its side that is used as a core gameplay control

  • The console is unique and notable in that it has a mechanical crank on its side that is used as a core gameplay control

Item

Gaming
571

Profit

This is the difference between the sale price and resell price. It does not take into account any costs associated with reselling. Things like shipping, storage fees, if applicable.

Playdate Handheld Game Console by Panic

Software house Panic released this handheld console in 2021. It features a mechanical crank on the side of the console, which is a core-control used during gameplay.

Noted video game publisher Panic made a surprise foray into hardware with the creation of the Playdate. A throwback handheld console featuring quirky controls and a unique catalog, the Playdate exploded on social media after its announcement, and preorders quickly sold out. After numerous production delays, consoles finally started shipping, and resellers turned a tidy profit after a two year wait.

How did Panic get into making consoles?

Originally a consumer software house specializing in macOS and iOS applications dating all the way back in 1997, Panic found immediate success with their first video game foray as the publisher for 2016’s critically acclaimed Firewatch.

Following this, they soon signed on as publisher for 2019’s Untitled Goose Game, solidifying their position as a company with a penchant for out-of-the-box projects. So while their console announcement seemed out of the blue at first glance, Panic had the proper chops and positioning to bring something new and exciting to life, and unveiled their secret project from out of the blue.

When the bold yellow handheld graced the equally bold yellow cover of Edge Magazine issue #333 back in May of 2019 (as its cover story), no one in the gaming sphere had really known of Panic as anything more than a publisher — which, to be fair, they were clearly good at.

What's so special about the Panic Playdate?

The Panic Playdate is a gameboy-inspired handheld console, with a 2.7 inch Memory LCD screen (similar to e-paper), and it is unique and notable for 2 main reasons.

First, the console has a mechanical crank on its side, which is a core control element for many games. For example, in one of the popular demo games, this crank would let you control time within a side-scrolling 2D platformer.

Additionally, a number of free games are included with each purchase, and released over Wi-Fi each week. The first season includes 24 games, pushed to the console at a rate of 2 per week.

The Playdate does a lot of things differently than its predecessors, and for better or for worse, different is good once in a while. Maybe the crank is a gimmick, or maybe it isn’t — but either way, it’s something new that has proven to be worth a try for many. It was originally slated for a 2020 release, but this was delayed for a number of reasons.

Preorders for the Panic Playdate ultimately ended up opening on July 29, 2021, and the first batch of consoles finally started shipping at the end of April 2022. Consoles became backordered all the way to 2023 in the weeks and months following the initial preorder sale.

How did the Panic Playdate resell?

As per aftermarket eBay sales, a number of in-hand Playdate consoles were sold at the end of April 2022 (the ship date for earliest preorders) for an average of $750 each, truly illustrating a high level of demand for enthusiasts to get their hands on the new console as early as possible.

Panic Playdate for sale Ebay Resells

At the height of the Playdate’s hype (and backorders), resellers had no trouble flipping them for significantly over retail. Now in 2023, Panic has managed to get a better handle on production, and prices are coming down.

It’s still possible to resell a Panic Playdate over retail, but the average price now hovers around $300-$400. Still a potential profit of $200, but it serves as a good example of why you shouldn’t hold out forever. Hyped products like this will restock, and the manufacturers will strive to meet demand. Generally the most profits on items like these will be from reselling during the initial wave of interest.

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