Have you been eagerly anticipating the release of the Playdate, that indie-oriented little handheld? Then you’ll have to keep anticipating it because it’s been delayed till 2022.
Yes, the Steam Deck was also delayed (this isn’t really a good month for unreleased handhelds) but the Playdate is almost at the other end of the handheld spectrum. It’s handheld, yes, but it has a small black and white screen, a crank which you can use to interact with games and it’s ridiculously cute even if its $179 price is slightly higher than we’d have liked.
But, adorable as its design may be, it’s still fallen foul of manufacturing issues. It’s not, as was the case with the Steam Deck, that there’s general component shortages. Instead, the Playdate’s issues have to do with one specific part of the device, the battery.
“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”, reads a statement from Panic, creators of the Playdate.
You can read the full statement here, but in essence the battery life was insufficient and in some cases the Playdates refused to turn on. As a result, the company has decided to replace all the batteries and had to ship 5,000 units back to the manufacturer. They go on to say that component shortages were an issue but the battery issue is the major reason for the day.
Not everyone’s Playdate was set to arrive this year anyway, but if your order was in the first batch or second batch and you were down for a 2021 delivery, it’ll be arriving in early 2022.
While the statement doesn’t address cancellations, the Playdate site states you can cancel your order at any time though. Given the Playdate’s apparently popularity we doubt Panic will see many cancellations, but the options always there. But for now, the little yellow console won’t be in Santa’s sack.