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Developer Panic Inc.
Type Handheld game console
Generation Ninth generation
Release date 2022

The Playdate is an handheld console developed by Panic Inc. It originally retailed for $179, before being bumped up to $199.


Name Platform(s) Latest Version FLOSS Active Recommended
PC / x86
Playdate Simulator Windows macOS Linux 2.1.1
Cranked Windows Linux [1]
pd-emu Windows Linux [2]


Playdate Simulator
The official Playdate emulator by Panic, bundled in the first-party Playdate SDK as a test platform for developers. Plays most Lua-coded games perfectly by itself, but by design it does not play encrypted (DRM-laden) Catalog games or compiled C games from disparate platforms. In other words, a Playdate game partially coded in C but compiled on Mac won't run on the Windows simulator and vice versa because the Simulator runs compiled C code natively (as in, without emulation or interpretation).
Early-stage open-source Playdate emulator. To-date much of the functionality is missing (sprites, audio, graphical effects), but the groundwork is laid for Lua and C games to boot down the line.
Another early-stage, open-source emulator that cannot be run since the author has yet to integrate the Playdate API.