Panic has revealed that the Playdate handheld is getting delayed after a last-minute issue with the battery has made the company hold the product back until 2022.
Playdate’s first 5000 units came at the factory did not meet the expectations of Panic and after some testing of the units, decided to delay the launch from 2021 into 2022 because the devices didn’t hold the expected lifespan.
“As our first 5000 finished Playdate units arrived at our warehouse in California for 2021, we began to test a few of them,” an owner update said. “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.
“This quickly turned into a months-long, all-hands-on-deck research stress-ball, and we halted production at the factory. The conclusion? We made the difficult, expensive decision to replace all of our existing batteries with brand new ones, from a totally different battery supplier.”
Another bit of a silver lining is Panic figured out a way to beat the chip shortage going on right now around the world by using a similar CPU.
“Board revisions are complex and costly. But this other CPU can, for whatever reason, be obtained much sooner. And you won’t notice anything different about this new board revision when it comes to playing games — functionally it will be the same. But it’ll give us the best chance at getting you a Playdate next year, which we both want,” the email reads.
The blast ends with the news that Pulp, a gamer-making tool available for Playdate, will be available via a public beta in January 2022. The full Playdate SDK will go live in February 2022.