Playdate, the portable with crank, delays its launch date from late 2021 to early 2022.
In a email posted on Thursday, Playdate creator Panic explained that the decision to delay the portable device is due to problems with the battery life in the first 5,000 units that the company received from Malaysia.
Playdate’s expected battery life is eight hours in use and 14 days in standby mode. Panic stated that some units did not reach that goal, and others were so exhausted that the device would not turn on at all and could not even be charged.
The good news? Panic is replacing all of its existing batteries with new ones from a different supplier, of which they have communicated their satisfaction after verifying that they work perfectly.
Panic added that production will start again as quickly as possible, but that the planned dates of the end of 2021 are not going to be met, so we will have to wait until early 2022 to be able to enjoy this beautiful laptop that we were able to exclusively test a few months ago.
The global chip shortage affecting video game and tech companies around the world is also playing a role, according to Panic. To avoid what the company has said would be a two-year lag in the CPU they need, the company is reviewing the Playdate main board so that it can be used with a more available CPU.
This new board will not change anything when it comes to playing, and if you have reserved a unit, your place in the queue has not changed. So If your unit is between the numbers 1 to 10,000 and 10,000 to 20,000, you will receive your Playdate in early 2022. Those in the queue from 20,000 to 40,000 will receive their Playdate in the second half of 2022, and those from 40,0000 to 50,000 will be sent in the “late second half“from 2022. Panic says that the Playdates that pass the first 50,000 units will arrive”almost sure“in 2023.
If you are part of the homebrew game development scene and are looking forward to creating games for Playdate, Panic has a couple of estimated release dates for the Playdate Software Development Kit and web browser-based tool Pulp. The Pulp public beta will arrive in January 2022, and the Playdate SDK will arrive in February 2022.
It has been a nightmare for many companies that have had to deal with problems in the supply chain, especially those looking to launch new hardware. Valve’s new Steam Deck has been pushed back to February 2022, and Sony reportedly cut back on PS5 production plans, making it even more difficult to get one in the near future. Not even the old Nintendo Switch can escape this problem, as Nintendo has cut the Switch sales forecast by 6% for this year.