Playdate Retro-Inspired Handheld Console Delayed Until 2022

Disappointing battery life is to blame

Those hoping to get their hands on Panic’s unique retro-inspired handheld console, the Playdate, will have to wait a bit longer.

The company just announced via email and blogpost that the Playdate is delayed until 2022, with Panic adjusting the release date to early in the new year. The reason? Malfunctioning batteries in the finished product. 

Panic Playdate Console Delayed


“As our first 5,000 finished Playdate units arrived at our warehouse in California for 2021, we began to test a few of them. We quickly became concerned that some of them weren’t giving us the battery life we expected,” they wrote.

“We found a number of units with batteries so drained, Playdate wouldn’t power on at all—and couldn’t be charged.”

The solution? Preordered Playdates will ship to Malaysia for a battery replacement, moving the launch window to 2022.

Though this issue is not directly related to the global supply chain issues that have plagued the technology sector this year, Panic did say that Covid-related shortages are impacting orders beyond the initial launch, as the custom CPU is back-ordered for two whole years. This has forced the company to redesign the system so that it can use a readily available CPU. 

In other words, the crank-powered console with a gorgeous monochrome screen may not be actually available for purchase until 2023. Preorders, however, already have a CPU installed and should ship right after the battery gets swapped out. 

This is the second significant gaming console delay this week, as Valve announced yesterday that the sought-after Steam Deck’s release is also slipping into 2022. 

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