Playdate, the little, yellow, completely different handheld video games machine from Panic, will now launch in early 2022, the corporate instructed prospects who pre-ordered the gadget. The Playdate was beforehand scheduled to reach later this yr (and initially introduced for a 2020 launch).
Panic mentioned in an electronic mail Thursday that the primary 5,000 Playdates — these scheduled to ship to prospects this yr — had battery points that turned evident throughout testing.
“We rapidly turned involved that a few of them weren’t giving us the battery life we anticipated,” Panic mentioned. “Playdate’s battery is designed to final a really very long time, and at all times be prepared for you, even when not used for some time. However that was not the case: actually, we discovered plenty of models with batteries so drained, Playdate wouldn’t energy on in any respect — and couldn’t be charged. That’s a battery worst-case state of affairs.”
Panic mentioned it shipped these 5,000 Playdate models again to the producer and is within the strategy of changing the batteries from a brand new provider. The snag means a delay, not only for the preliminary provide of Playdate handhelds, however doubtless for future models, too. The primary 20,000 Playdate handhelds will now arrive someday in early 2022, Panic mentioned, with the subsequent 30,000 coming within the second half of subsequent yr.
What’s extra, Panic warned that future orders can also be impacted, and never simply due to the battery difficulty. The worldwide chip scarcity can also be impacting Playdate manufacturing, in accordance with this all-too-familiar anecdote:
With plenty of pre-orders in place, we instantly positioned an order at our manufacturing facility for all of the elements wanted for 2022 models and past. The response was… sobering. Lots of our elements have been delayed considerably. Actually, we are able to’t get any extra of Playdate’s present CPU for — you’re not going to imagine this — two years. Like, 730 days.
On the intense aspect, Panic mentioned it completed a revision to the Playdate’s most important board and plans to make use of a “related, however extra broadly accessible, CPU” in future orders. The corporate additionally talked about “different half shortages we’re attempting to outsmart proper now,” however suffice it to say, the anticipate a Playdate is getting longer.
After all, Panic will not be the one firm dealing with shortages of chips and different parts. Sony and Nintendo each just lately reduce transport estimates for the PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Change, respectively, and Valve introduced a delay of its Steam Deck handheld gaming PC on Wednesday, additionally citing provide chain points.