Playdate, the adorable yellow gaming device that will receive waves of games over time, has been delayed from its initial late 2021 launch and into 2022.
Panic, creators of the Playdate, emailed customers notifying them that an issue concerning batteries with the first batch of manufactured devices has resulted in the delay, with the company choosing to replace them all before shipping to customers. This has pushed back the first two batches of preorders into 2022, with any remaining orders after that now slated for the second half of 2022. Panic says orders past the 50,000 mark (which is hasn’t reached yet) will ship in 2023.
“As our first 5,000 finished Playdate units arrived at our warehouse in California for 2021, we began to test a few of them,” the email reads. “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.”
Panic says it has already sourced a new battery and has placed the production orders for units meant to be shipped in 2022. With that, Panic ran into the same issues that most supply chains have during the past year, with the global semiconductor shortage potentially incurring further delays. This has been alleviated somewhat by a redesigned main board, which is allowing Panic to hit its 2022 date.
“There are a number of other part shortages we’re trying to outsmart right now, and while it’s stressful and frustrating, rest assured we will do everything we can to make as many Playdates as we can for you,” the email concluded.
The Playdate is one of many gaming devices affected by the ongoing semiconductor shortage, with both Nintendo and Sony reducing the number of Switch and PlayStation 5 consoles scheduled for manufacture respectively.