Playdate, the upcoming indie handheld gaming console from venerable software publisher Panic, is really important. But if you don’t know the history of where the little company behind this little device comes from, it might be hard to understand why this isn’t just another random gadget like you might see on a crowdfunding site.
Anil Dash goes on to describe the tech indie scene to setup where Panic is coming from to launching their first hardware product, the Playdate. This is the type of thing that inspires me in the tech world: the small-ish, independent company that has succeed outside the culture of Silicon Valley.
Panic started as an indie Mac development company making products like Audion, Transmit, and Coda. The later has been my code editor of choice up until recently (mostly on VS Code now, I’ll get back to that in a second). Panic has a culture and perspective on design that I can’t quite put my finger on, but it is immediately recognizable and refreshing. FTP and code editing apps are incredibly useful tools, but their approach brings a great deal of personality to an otherwise utilitarian category of software.
The Playdate is their first hardware product and I am really looking forward to see what they can bring to designing a handheld gaming system. I am also really looking forward to the upcoming overhaul of Coda (or whatever they are going to call it).