Panic's Playdate handheld is delayed until 2022

A 'critical' battery issue forced the company's hand.


Valve’s Steam Deck isn’t the only handheld that won’t ship in 2021. Panic has pushed back the launch of its Playdate portable to 2022. The company announced the delay Thursday, attributing it to a “critical” battery issue it discovered late in the process of manufacturing the first 20,000 production units of the console. “We made the difficult, expensive call to replace all of our existing batteries with new ones from a totally different battery supplier,” said Panic’s Cabel Sasser.

Panic estimates those units will now begin making their way to customers sometime in early 2022. If you reserved a Playdate prior to today’s announcement, your spot in the pre-order line won’t change as long as your order remains active.

If there’s a silver lining to the news, it’s that Panic claims the new power cell features “much better” battery life from what the previous one offered. Moving forward, future units will ship with a new CPU and redesigned motherboard. That won’t change how the final product performs, but it’s something Panic says it was forced to do due to the ongoing chip shortages that are affecting everything from GPU prices to car production.