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Playdate’s Catalog games store is live today

Separately, the price of the handheld is increasing on April 7th.

Panic

Since Panic’s Playdate began shipping last spring, the handheld has offered two ways for players to install games. To start, the device comes with a seasonal lineup of free titles. These are automatically added to your Playdate’s library at a cadence of two every week for 12 weeks, for a total of 24 games during its first season. It’s also possible to sideload games purchased through marketplaces like Itch.io. Today, Panic is adding a third way to download software for your Playdate in the form of Catalog, a curated storefront of Playdate content.

At launch, there are 16 games to be found on Catalog. You can browse the storefront on your Playdate and the web. Eleven of the titles are brand new, and it looks like there are some promising gems on the list. Specifically, Grand Tour Legends looks like a standout. It’s an arcade racing game where your only job is to turn the pedals on your bike by spinning the Playdate’s signature crank. There’s more strategy involved than you might think, as you need to manage your rider’s energy levels. Another intriguing title comes in the form Carve Jr, a game where you use the Playdate’s crank to perform snowboarding tricks. At most, you can expect to pay up to $15 for a game from the storefront.

Separately, Panic is increasing the price of Playdate. Effective April 7th, the handheld will cost $199, a $20 increase from its current $179 price. The company blamed the price increase on increasing production costs. “Our manufacturing partner recently gave us the news that the cost of building a Playdate is going up,” Panic said. “And given our already tight margins, we’re at a point when we need to adjust Playdate’s price.” Panic adds it’s giving customers a month’s notice on the price increase to soften the blow caused by the move. “We don’t take this lightly: we’ve always wanted Playdate to be as affordable as possible.”