Katamari Creator Keita Takahashi Developing New Game for ‘Play Date’ Handheld

Katamari Creator Keita Takahashi Developing New Game for ‘Play Date’ Handheld

While the ’80s and ’90s may have had a load of companies enter the gaming hardware business, in recent years, ever since SEGA’s decision to go third-party, this sector has been almost exclusively the home of Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft. In this time, others have simply decided to develop software instead for release on platforms owned by these three companies.

When it comes to the handheld business, unless you factor in mobile phones as handheld devices, this business has been dominated by Nintendo with even Sony failing to find a strong footing in this arena. The idea of a new company jumping in to create a new piece of hardware to challenge these three companies is unusual, and for one to challenge in the handheld space is even rarer. This is what makes the recently-announced Play Date and its slate of announced games, including one by the creator of Katamari Damacy, so fascinating.

The idea behind the Play Date is that it would be a low-cost portable gaming device with a variety of unique and interesting games included from the get-go. In many ways, it shuns the conventions of what you would expect from such a device, thanks to its black-and-white screen and optional crank controller on the side of the device, alongside a traditional d-pad and buttons.

It is through this crank that you control Katamari creator Keita Takahashi’s new game, Crankin’s Time Travel Adventure. This game is exclusively controlled using the crank, using it to make Crankin move backward and forwards. While it looks rather simplistic, it does look rather fun. And, as it turns out, this game has been publicly known for over 5 months at this point due to an exhibit in the United States of his work, but the purpose of such work was finally revealed with today’s announcement.

This game, alongside all other games for the device for a total of 12, will be included with the hardware, costing $149 and set for release in 2020 with more details on the company’s official website. This is being billed as season 1 for the service, with the games being unlocked for players at a rate of 1 per week despite all being included with your purchase.

This seems like an interesting piece of tech, and it makes sense that such fascinating hardware attracts a fascinating creator such as Keita Takahashi as he brings the mind that came up with Katamari, Noby Noby Boy and more to Play Date. His involvement increases my interest in this device and I would love to try this game and the device out for myself.

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