The Playdate release date has been delayed to 2022, owing to an issue with the batteries in the handheld discovered by the handheld gaming console's developers at Panic.
We first learned about the Playdate back in mid-2019. Originally priced at $149, the chip shortages and shipping issues over the last year resulted in a jump in price to $179. This new handheld gaming console was originally supposed to launch in 2020, but that launch date got pushed back to 2021 due to the general chaos in the shipping and tech industry over the last two years. Now, it's been delayed yet again.
Unfortunately, Panic has discovered an issue with the battery that has affected every single one of the devices. Ultimately, the devs made the decision to halt production in order to replace all of the batteries.
"This quickly turned into a months-long, all-hands-on-deck research stress-ball, and we halted production at the factory," Panic’s Cabel Sasser said in a newsletter sent to people who pre-ordered the device. "We made the difficult, expensive call to replace all of our existing batteries with new ones from a totally different battery supplier."
The Playdate release date delay is not the only issue for enthusiasts of handheld gaming consoles; earlier this year, the Analogue Pocket had to delay its pre-order shipping for the second time this year. Fortunately, the Playdate delay has an upside for people looking forward to the console: the new batteries are going to give gamers a longer battery life than originally expected.
When is the Playdate Release Date?
The Playdate release date will now be sometime in early 2022; a more specific date has not yet been announced.
Console launch aside, Panic has revealed some other key details. Future Playdate consoles will have new CPU chips and redesigned boards due to the worldwide chip shortage; this won't have a major effect on the end product. The Playdate Pulp public beta is coming in January and the full Playdate SDK will arrive in February.
Panic also explained how Playdate Season One will work: you'll get two games as soon as you set up your console for the first time. After that, you'll get two new games every Monday for three months. You can join in on the fun yourself by pre-ordering a Playdate via its official website starting at $179 or your regional equivalent.
Are you disappointed by the Playdate release date delay? Do you think this console can go the distance? Let us know in the comments below!