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Dead batteries push the Playdate’s launch date to 2022

The Playdate, the unique new handheld console from Panic, just had its initial release date delayed. Via both a Twitter post and an email to pre-order adopters, the company announced that consoles set to ship out in late 2021 will now get into the hands of owners in early 2022.

Hi! If you've pre-ordered a Playdate, check your email for a copy of the "Playdate Owner's Update #1".

There's bad news (a battery tragedy means Late 2021 units are now Early 2022, see email for your timing) but also good news (Pulp+SDK release dates!!)

Thanks for reading it.

— Playdate (@playdate) November 11, 2021

The Playdate is a new handheld console that is shaping up to be something totally new. It sports a season-based game release schedule and a unique control peripheral in its crank. Its pre-orders were set to release in quarterly waves, with its first shipment now set for 2022.

Playdate cited battery issues as a reason for the delay. This issue reared its head during early shipment testing, when the team noticed that early models weren’t reaching their expected battery life.

An email from Playdate states that it “found a number of units with batteries so drained, Playdate wouldn’t power on at all — and couldn’t be charged.”

Due to that issue, Panic decided to replace all the existing Playdate batteries with new ones from a new supplier. This means that 5,000 of the consoles were shipped back to Malaysia to be given new batteries. While the delay may sting, at least the team caught the issue before actually shipping out the consoles, which would have resulted in an even greater frustration.

Those who pre-ordered a Playdate and were part of that late 2021 group will now receive their consoles in early 2022. The other groups set to receive their consoles in later quarters of 2022 will still get their consoles on previously established dates.

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