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(Pocket-lint) - Panic will open pre-orders for its cute as heck handheld games console on Thursday 29 July 2021.

You will be able to place your order for the Playdate from 10am PDT (1pm EDT, 6pm BST) with the company promising that it will not "sell out".

Everyone who pre-orders the console will be placed in a virtual line, with units then shipping when available.

The first batch will amount to around 20,000 units and ship towards the end of 2021. Any subsequent orders will then be shipped from additional production runs in 2022.

The Playdate costs $179 (UK and European prices to follow), with a Playdate cover also made available to pre-order for $29.

You can buy both at the same time for $199.

All money will be taken up front, but you will be able to cancel at any time for a full refund. Units will be limited to two per person.

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The Playdate is something a bit different for handheld gaming. It has a 2.7-inch mono screen and unique handcrank to add a new element to gameplay. Thanks to the low power display and no backlight, battery life is expected to be great.

One of the best things is that all the games announced so far will be free in a Playdate Season One package. Some will come preinstalled while others will be delivered on a weekly basis.

You can find out more and pre-order the Playdate console on the official website here.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 23 July 2021.