Twitter has been ablaze with news of Playdate
Every once in a while, its my unfortunate duty to call out products that are not going to work.
It’s not a pleasant task. I remember when I did it for Project Ara and I got a lot of bad responses for my 100% accurate prediction
I love the idea of PlayDate, I love the design company behind the concept, but (based on what I’ve learned) its not going to work.
Hear me out.
its too expensive. Panic has commented on twitter “that they couldn’t sell the console under 100USD” because it would be at a loss. Now, in order for any hardware to be sustainable, you need 2x - 2.5 x margins. If it really is so, that 100USD is already a pain point for PlayDate, it would actually have to be sold at 200-250 USD to make business sense. At 150 USD they’re setting themselves up for a failure, especially because of point#2
that crank is going to be a mechanical nightmare & major source of customer complaints. This one I know better than any of the other arguments. I was there when flip phones were the thing and I saw up close - very close - the patents and mechanisms of the phone hinges. First of all, the mechanism shown in the concept images is far too light to be able to take sustained mechanical wear. it will either break or become loose with wear. And then, if it is an absolute position device, there is the electromechanical wear to worry about. I’m interested in the component they have chose to do the task, but, its either going to be expensive or its going to break. EDIT: and when something costs 150USD, people WILL complain if it doesn’t work. If something is <50USD people will just let it go. In this case, they will ask for money back and it will eat badly into the already thin margins
20 FPS limitation in the screen component. According to the information I have seen the Sharp display is HW limited to 20 FPS. Some people are going to be OK with this … alot of people won’t.
So, conclusion. This is one of those devices that is going to cause alot of hype, but it most likely can not live up to that hype come shipping day. The early signs are not good.
But I’m just a guy. What do I know?