Delays have been fairly common throughout the 2021 calendar year. Just this week, we learned that the Steam Deck release has been pushed back to 2022. Now, the Playdate has been pushed back to 2022 as well.
The reason for the Playdate’s delay is different from that of the Steam Deck in that the Playdate delay is primarily due to battery issues. Now, those batteries will need to be replaced before Playdates can be shipped out.
Battery Issue Delays Playdate Release to Early 2022
It’s official, the Playdate – an adorable little yellow handheld gaming device with a crank on the side – has been delayed to early 2022 according to emails sent out this morning by Panic.
In the email, Playdate explains the reason for the delay, which centers around serious battery issues that need to be fixed before the Playdate can be shipped out. Speaking on the matter, Panic explained:
“We quickly became concerned that some of them weren’t giving us the battery life we expected. Playdate’s battery is designed to last a very long time, and always be ready for you, even if not used for a while.
But that was not the case: in fact, we found a number of units with batteries so drained, Playdate wouldn’t power on at all — and couldn’t be charged. That’s a battery worst-case scenario.”
The good news in all of this is that Panic is working to correct the Playdate’s battery issue before units start shipping out to customers. As such, when customers do receive their Playdate, it’ll work as intended.
Unfortunately, this means the release of the Playdate has been pushed back into 2022. The first 20,000 Playdates will now ship out in early 2022, with the following 30,000 units shipping out during the second half of 2022.
Problems with the battery aren’t the only issue the Playdate has run into, either. Due to the ongoing global pandemic, there’s been a chip shortage that’s affected consoles like the PlayStation 5, and little handhelds like the Playdate.
As for how severe the chip shortage is, here’s what Panic has encountered when trying to order CPU:
“With lots of pre-orders in place, we immediately placed an order at our factory for all the parts needed for 2022 units and beyond. The response was… sobering. Many of our parts have been delayed significantly.
In fact, we can’t get any more of Playdate’s current CPU for — you’re not going to believe this — two years. Like, 730 days.”
Yikes. Fortunately, there’s a workaround for this issue in the form of a different, but similar CPU that Panic plans to use in future Playdate orders. The Playdate issues right now are a great example of everything is fixable, but sometimes it takes a bit of time.
After hearing about the delay of the Playdate, what are your thoughts? Are you surprised to hear the Playdate has run into these sorts of issues? Let us know in the comments below, or on our social media channels including Facebook and Twitter!
Related: Playdate Handheld Pre-Orders Start July, New Stereo Dock Accessory Announced