Panic has delayed the first shipments of its Playdate handheld, which is kind of like a Game Boy but with a crank, to early 2022. The company said that initial units shipped with batteries that didn’t work as expected, forcing it to send the units back to Malaysia to get new batteries.
Panic also said that it has been affected by the global chip shortage in a significant way. Additional supply of the Playdate’s current CPU won’t be available for two years, according to Panic. To get around that, Playdate units coming later in 2022 will have a revised main board that uses a more readily available CPU.
If you preordered a Playdate, you should be receiving an email that says when your Playdate is now estimated to ship. Orders have now been put into five different groups, and your email should say which group you’re in. Panic cautions that its estimates are subject to change, so there could be more shifts down the line.
The global chip shortage has had a major affect on gaming hardware
The news of the Playdate’s delay arrives one day after Valve’s Steam Deck was delayed by two months to February 2022 due to the global supply chain issues. And they’re not the only gaming companies affected; Nintendo cut its Switch sales forecast due to the chip shortage, and Sony is reportedly making fewer PS5s.
Panic also shared some news about Playdate’s development software. Pulp, the company’s no-code development tool, is set to arrive in public beta in January 2022, while the full Playdate SDK is scheduled to launch in February 2022.