The announcement comes from their official blog, where they announce that the product will be delayed from 2021 and into early 2022 instead. But like everything else in the industry, theyre not blaming the microchip shortage. Instead, they explained that its due to an unexpected battery issue.
We quickly became concerned that some of them werent giving us the battery life we expected. Playdates 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 wouldnt power on at all and couldnt be charged. Thats a battery worst-case scenario.
Instead of compromising, they eventually decided to replace all of the existing batteries with new ones from a different supplier. Costs aside, this decision means a delay in the pipeline. With parts already hard to come by, theyre feeling trapped in a standstill of part ordering.
Many of our parts have been delayed significantly. In fact, we can't get any more of Playdate's current CPU for -- you're not going to believe this -- two years. Like, 730 days.
With this new situation in consideration, Panic is now aiming to ship at least 50,000 units some time by the end of next year. Details beyond (or before) that remain scarce.
While we dont have a tremendous stake in the handheld console, we sympathize with those who already invested and are awaiting the final product. Weve had a good two years or delays for numerous things at this point. While it can be annoying after so long, all we can do is be patient.