Playdate launch delayed until early 2022 due to "critical battery issue"

The experimental device had been slated to launch before the end of the year.

Panic's crank-touting handheld, Playdate, has been delayed until 2022 because of a "critical battery issue."

The experimental device had been slated to launch before the end of 2021, but the first batch of Playdates will now arrive early next year.

Panic explained a problem with the device's battery was found late in the day, and has resulted in the company replacing the batteries of all Playdates currently in production.

The company added that future Playdates will also receive new CPU chips and re-designed boards due to the ongoing chip shortage, but said the move "won’t change [...] the end product."

"This [problem] quickly turned into a months-long, all-hands-on-deck research stress-ball, and we halted production at the factory," said Panic co-founder Cabel Sasser in an update. "We made the difficult, expensive call to replace all of our existing batteries with new ones from a totally different battery supplier."

Panic managed to sell 20,000 of the bright yellow handhelds when pre-orders opened in July 2020, and that batch will be the first to ship next year.

The company has reassured customers their current place in line to receive a Playdate won't change because of the delay as long as their pre-order remains active.

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