Playdate is Delayed to 2022

Playdate is Delayed to 2022

Panic has announced their unconventional throwback gaming handheld Playdate is delayed to 2022, due to issues with the original batteries and CPUs they were produced with.

The news that the Playdate is delayed to 2022 was sent out to all pre-order customers, as well as via a press release via the company’s main site. This means the first batch of units, which were set to go out in late 2021, are now delayed to 2022.

“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 company said in the update. “We quickly became concerned that some of them weren’t giving us the battery life we expected.”

They added, “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.”

After months of testing, Panic eventually decided to replace all of the batteries on the units they had produced already, meaning they sent back all 5000 units to get their batteries replaced from a totally different suppliers. Coming from this, they noted the new batteries are what they wanted, if not even better than before.

The other issue is that the CPU included in the original Playdate build will be out of stock for more than two years. As such, they have to replace it with a more available CPU, which means they’ve revised the Playdate’s main board to accommodate a new chip.

Panic has assured fans that ordered a Playdate that the first 20,000 orders will still get their units as they were ordered in line, with that first batch now shipping in early 2022 and orders 20,000 to 50,000 will be sent in the second half of 2022. Furthermore, orders 50,000 and later will be “almost certainly” be in 2023, but Panic and “we’re not quite there yet.”

Retailing at $179 and includes a subscription to the first “season” of free games, which is now 24 games in total and includes titles from creators like Katamari Damacy creator Keita Takahashi and Papers Please creator Lucas Pope. Two new games will be released each week as part of Season One.

Playdate includes a 2.7 inch black and white screen reminiscent of the original Game Boy, and sports a resolution of 400×240, roughly four times the original resolution of the Game Boy. The D-pad and two face buttons are standard for gameplay but the curious crank (which flips out for use) can be used for more unique gameplay mechanics.

The Playdate was announced back in May 2019, and pre-orders finally went live back in July of this year, over two years since its original reveal. Pre-orders are still available over on the official Playdate website.



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