Playdate: The New Handheld Video Game System

Technology

Panic, a company known for their Mac and iOS software, has announced the Playdate, a new handheld video game system:

Playdate is both very familiar, and totally new. It’s yellow, and fits perfectly in a pocket. It has a black-and-white screen with high reflectivity, a crystal-clear image, and no backlight. And of course, it has Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB-C, and a headphone jack. But it also has a crank. Yes, a crank: a cute, rotating analog controller that flips out from the side.

It also includes a full season of original games, at no extra charge, delivered each week to the system — games in all sorts of genres that are all hopefully surprises.

This looks adorable. Panic is a Portland based company that has their office not that far from where I live; I walk by their customizable sign all the time. The company is also one of the main reasons I started using a Mac after discovering their editor Coda, which was basically revolutionary to me at the time. This little video game system looks like a whole lot of fun and I wish them the best of luck.

Nintendo Might Be Following Up NES Classic With Mini SNES

Nintendo

Ashlee Kieler, writing at Consumerist:

Nostalgia lovers who missed out on scoring one of Nintendo’s mini-Classic console systems before the company discontinued the product last week, could have another chance to walk down memory lane: The gaming company is reportedly planning to follow up on that system’s popularity with a miniature Super Nintendo version. Though, if the report is true, you’ll have to wait until the holidays.

I’d buy one. I still don’t understand why Nintendo discontinued the mini-NES though.

Rock Band VR Coming to Oculus Rift

Videogames

Rock Band will be coming to the Oculus Rift on March 23rd. The reports I’ve seen have been pretty lukewarm about the devices:

The scaling back of Facebook’s first big retail push for VR comes after workers from multiple Best Buy pop-ups told BI that it was common for them to go days without giving a single demonstration. An internal memo seen by BI and sent to affected employees by a third-party contractor said the closings were because of “store performance.”

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‘Firewatch’ Comes to the Mac

Video Games

One of my favorite games from the past year, Firewatch, has come to the Mac App Store.

The year is 1989. You are a man named Henry who has retreated from his messy life to work as a fire lookout in the Wyoming wilderness. Perched high atop a mountain, it’s your job to look for smoke and keep the wilderness safe. An especially hot, dry summer has everyone on edge. Your supervisor Delilah is available to you at all times over a small, handheld radio—your only contact with the world you’ve left behind. But when something strange draws you out of your lookout tower and into the forest, you’ll explore a wild and unknown environment, facing questions and making choices that can build or destroy the only meaningful relationship you have.

‘Myst’ Creator Interviewed by The A.V. Club

Videogames

The A.V. Club interviewed the creator of one of my favorite computer games growing up, Myst, and the entire thing is good, but I loved this quote:

AVC: If you could go back 23, 24 years, and tell yourself one thing while you were making Myst, what would it be?

RM: Oh my gosh. Okay, honestly—this is some deep stuff—but I’m older now, and a lot of what happened with Myst, I now realize a lot of it, a majority of it, had to do with luck. And I think that’s how the world works. I think a lot of people work very hard, and they don’t get lucky. I think I would have told myself, “Don’t confuse luck with any sort of elevated view of yourself. You were in the right place at the right time and did a lot of hard work, but a lot of people do hard work. It worked for you, be grateful, and don’t think too much of yourself.”

Nintendo to Release Mini Version of NES Console

Nintendo

Nintendo has announced that they will release a “mini” version of their classic NES system on November 11th. The mini console will be only $60 and come with 30 games built in.

“We wanted to give fans of all ages the opportunity to revisit Nintendo’s original system and rediscover why they fell in love with Nintendo in the first place,” said Nintendo of America President and COO Reggie Fils-Aime. “The Nintendo Entertainment System: NES Classic Edition is ideal for anyone who remembers playing the NES, or who wants to pass on those nostalgic memories to the next generation of gamers.”

I think this is pretty great. Even if it’s just parents picking one up to play some old retro games with their kids. I’ve still got my old system and a bunch of games around here somewhere, some day I’ll figure out what to do with those.

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