The platform might not be familiar, but due to one of its parts, it might be memorable, as it’s a never-seen-before solution for gaming.
If we had to describe Playdate in a few words, then we’d say that it is a handheld platform that has a crank controller on it. Yes, a crank. Okay, it has a regular D-Pad, as well as at least two buttons, but it gets the most attention (and surprise?) due to that crank. Now, imagine running id Software’s eternal classic DOOM running on this platform. (This FPS has been ported to virtually everything except for 8-bit consoles and handhelds… but we’ve seen it on a printer, an oscilloscope, an ATM, and even within DOOM – that’s inception and a half…)
Nic Magnier used his spare time (as he’s a game developer himself) to create a DOOM port, which doesn’t seem to have the crank used that much yet. He doesn’t deserve to be criticized for the display: it’s monochrome, which doesn’t mean you can have all the colours in the world. However, not using the crank yet is a reasonable critique, and even Magnier admits that it’s the first iteration of the port, meaning he might utilise Playdate’s unique part. It’d be funny if you had to use the crank to fire a gun… and he might have read our minds, as he posted proof of using this unique controller to fire the chaingun. Otherwise, it might be used to turn in the game.
The Playdate doesn’t want to be competition to the Nintendo Switch. It’s more of a smaller indie idea that is still better than nothing (looking at you, Sony, after the Western failure of the PlayStation Vita – the empty market was filled by the Nintendo Switch that essentially retired the Vita’s former rival, the 3DS as well…).
The Playdate can’t be purchased yet, but it is planned to launch this year. However, the coronavirus might turn plans upside down.
First playable version of Doom on the Playdate. Still very early but I guess I will cross out “Port Doom” from my bucket list. My main inspiration was @fabynou Game Engine Black Book. pic.twitter.com/Qy21oTYkvf
— Nic (@NicMagnier) May 31, 2020
Due to popular demands, here a video of the crank being used to fire the chaingun. pic.twitter.com/UuBbojKSmk
— Nic (@NicMagnier) June 2, 2020
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