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Playdate Handheld Delayed

Panic have sent out messages to backers that their upcoming Playdate handheld has been delayed. The device was scheduled for release later this year, but has now been pushed back to early 2022 for their first 20,000 units.

The company noted the reason for this delay was due to poor battery life and a CPU shortage that couldn’t be solved until 2023. Panic stated:

“As our first 5000 finished Playdate units arrived at our warehouse in California for 2021, we began to test a few of them,” it said. “We quickly became concerned that some of them weren’t giving us the battery life we expected.

“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.

“This quickly turned into a months-long, all-hands-on-deck research stress-ball, and we halted production at the factory. The conclusion? We made the difficult, expensive decision to replace all of our existing batteries with brand new ones, from a totally different battery supplier.”

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Panic returned all 5000 units and had their batteries replaced, and is reporting that the new batteries are “exactly what [they’re] hoping for, if not even better than before”.

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