test conclusion

assessment
the editors

Good

The playdate convinced in the test in the design, with the interesting control and the fantastic retro charm. The yellow box also makes a lot of quality. However, it must first be shown whether the high purchase price pays off and whether there will be enough entertainment on the go to keep users happy. For the most part, however, this also depends on creative developers and the availability of the mobile console. But the bottom line is that the little box is just fun!

Per

  • Schckes Design

  • Looks high quality
  • Interesting control
  • Long battery life
  • Theoretically infinite number of games

Contra

  • Often only play snacks
  • Quite high price
  • Handheld hardly available

Mobile video games have been part of the gaming scene for many years. The first points of contact were available with the gray brick Game Boy from Nintendo 1990, followed by models such as the Game Boy Advance and Nintendo 3DS. In 2022 the market is greater than ever, which is mainly due to smartphones and tablets. Virtual consoles such as the Nintendo Switch and the Steam Deck are also very popular thanks to strong technology. In this competition, the retro handheld playdate looks a bit out of place. The practice test from Computer Bild reveals why the device is almost convincing across the board.

the best game consoles

1st place

To offer at Amazon

Test grade

1.7

Good

Microsoft

Xbox Series X

Details for the test detail button arrow

Per

  • Runs quietly and does not get too hot
  • Comprehensive multimedia program

Contra

  • Controller is low in a comparison
  • Menu navigation partly fricked

to offer

539, 95 €

To offer at Amazon to offer at Idealo for offer on eBay

Not available!

To offer at MediaMarkt

Not available!

To offer at Saturn

place 2

To offer at Amazon

Test grade

1.8

Good

Sony

PlayStation 5 (PS5) Standard Edition

Details for the test detail button arrow

Per

  • Super fast SSD…
  • Finally quiet fan

Contra

  • … with too low capacity
  • Huge device

to offer

729, 99 €

To offer at Amazon to offer at Idealo for offer on eBay

Not available!

To offer at MediaMarkt

Not available!

To offer at Saturn

place 3

To offer at Amazon

Test grade

2.1

Good

Microsoft

Xbox Series S

Details for the test detail button arrow

Per

  • Good price-performance ratio
  • Comprehensive multimedia program

Contra

  • No 4K playback of games
  • Controller is low in a comparison

to offer

269 €

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4th place

To offer at Amazon

Test grade

2.2

Good

Nintendo

Switch (OLED model)

Details for the test detail button arrow

Per

  • Great OLED display
  • Sensible changes to the design

Contra

  • Few innovations for a costly upgrade

to offer

329, 99 €

To offer at Amazon to offer at Idealo for offer on eBay

Not available!

To offer at MediaMarkt

Not available!

To offer at Saturn

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Complete list: The best game consoles

Playdate Review - What were they thinking?!?

Who is behind Playdate?

The playdate originates between two companies: the device has designed the Swedish creative company Teenage Engineering, which was already responsible for projects at Capcom or the Frekvens series of the Swedish furniture store Ikea. The in-ear headphones Nothing Ear (1) also goes to the Sweden account. On the other hand, US companies Panic is responsible for the portable console. Gamers know the name primarily as the editor of two very popular indie games: “Firewatch” and “Untitled Goose Game”.

my little, yellow cube

The handheld itself is quite small with the dimensions of 7.8×7.5 centimeters and a height of sweet 0.9 centimeters. Das ganze Gehäuse besteht aus einem matten und wertigen Kunststoff und wirkt wie aus einem Guss. Allerdings sind die Ränder etwas scharfkantig. Die Rückseite lässt sich auf Wunsch mit einem einfachen Schlitzschraubenzieher abnehmen und gewährt Zugriff auf die technischen Innereien. Das hilft in Zukunft möglicherweise beim Wechsel von Bauteilen, etwa wenn der Akku bei Dauergebrauch irgendwann in die Knie geht. Sogar die Nachrüstung zusätzlicher Technik ist theoretisch denkbar.

You control the playdate via a Control Cross along with A and B button. A familiar picture for gamers. The pressure points are pleasant and react quickly to inputs. The power button is on the top, and there is also a home button for volume, screenshots and the short way to the start screen. The black and white display measures an image diagonal of 6.8 centimeters and shows content with 400×240 pixels. This is minimalistic, but it looks really good! Of course, the box does not arrive against graphics splendor of the Nintendo Switch Oled or the Steam Deck. Sound is available either via a mono speaker on the front, by jack connection for headphones or in the future wirelessly via Bluetooth.

The thing with the crank

The most striking element is the small crank on the right. However, this does not serve – as perhaps assumed – for electricity, but for control. A wide variety of actions can be carried out with the crank in the existing games. At the surf title “Whitewater Wipeout”, users control a surfboard through the wave, on the other hand, the focus of the in-game camera is adjusted in the bird game “Casual Birder”. It becomes very wild with “Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure”, where you turn the time back and forth. The control with the extended arm worked reliably in the test, without delay and was fun, although the possibilities are a bit limited depending on the title. When you’re done playing, you just fold up the crank and hide parts of it in the housing.

What games are there?

At the start, each console offers two games. In the test, these were the “Whitewater Wipeout” and “Casual Birder” mentioned above. And both games show the panic route well: According to the company, there are short and long games that take more, sometimes less time. While you are traveling between two and twenty seconds in the surf game and collect points before flying off the board, as a bird photographer you can walk through the city and nature for a few minutes longer and photograph birds together with biting comments. But what happens next?

The playdate’s game policy is like the device itself: exceptional. After the start there are two new titles every week. There are a total of 24 games in the so -called “Season One”, Panic also promises some surprises. However, the name of the current season suggests that there is still a “Season Two”, “Season Three” and more. Will the games always stay free or cost every new stage? Not clear! In theory, there will be free title in abundance in the future, because the playdate offers developers the opportunity to create and program hand. So far there have been hardly any success to report. But if so, these creations can be offered or sold free of charge on request and then pulling them onto the handheld. 4 gigabytes of internal memory are available for all content. So far there is no official store, Playdate may be able to submit this in the future. But it is also clear that if a large community develops around the console, there is an almost endless river of new games.

nice functions and large battery

Despite the retro charm, the play date relies on current technology and functions. WiFi is ready for new titles and updates, Bluetooth wants to deliver Panic. It is unclear whether a software update is enough or new hardware is necessary. The battery came to almost eight hours in the test. Instead of changing batteries, there is juice via a USB connection. An automatic stand-by mode even switches off the device after a few minutes on request. The Always-on display, which shows the current time when not in use, is also great. This is supposedly not gnawing at the battery: According to the Panic, a full load is enough for 14 days stand-by mode including the clock display.

Playdate: Price, availability and accessories

The playdate is currently only available in the United States, shipping to Germany is theoretically possible, if not quite cheap. The price without shipping is around $ 179, the equivalent of almost 170 euros. The package includes the console, a USB-C cable and the 24 games of the Season One. The biggest problem at the moment: The high demand has already used up all capacities for the current year. New orders are only delivered in 2023. In addition, Panic offers some accessories for the console. A protection cover for transport is a price of $ 29 (around 28 euros), for a currently unknown price there will be a dock with stereo speakers and pen holders.

Playdate Test: Conclusion

The playdate convinced in the test in the design, with the interesting control and the fantastic retro charm.
The yellow box also makes a lot of quality.
However, it must first be shown whether the high purchase price pays off and whether there will be enough entertainment on the go to keep users happy.
For the most part, this also depends on creative developers and the availability of the mobile console.