The Playdate Stereo Dock got stuck in factory limbo, but it's still coming

Expect an official update later this year.


Playdate, otherwise known as The Only Handheld That Actually Fits In My Tiny Hands, is almost perfect. It's a small yellow machine with a black-and-white screen and a crank on one side, and it's the home of fantastic, outlandish video games. The Playdate Catalog has more than 100 titles and there are hundreds more on sites like, created by new developers and established indies like Bennett Foddy, Lucas Pope and Keita Takahashi. Two years after its launch, Playdate is thriving. Panic, the company behind the device, said it's sold more than 70,000 units.

The one thing Playdate is missing is the Stereo Dock, a device that Panic announced back in 2021 and has been "coming soon" ever since. The Stereo Dock is a charging station, Bluetooth speaker, pen holder and stand for Playdate, and it looks like an adorable little tube TV when it's all put together. The Dock connects with Playdate magnetically and charges it wirelessly.

At least, it will do these things when it actually comes out. Playdate Project Lead Greg Maletic told Engadget that Panic is still working on the Stereo Dock, and the hold-up is due to unexpected issues in its factory pipeline. There should be an official update in the coming months. Here's what Maletic said:

"We apologize to everyone with a Playdate who has been waiting patiently for the Stereo Dock; it’s been a trickier project than we anticipated and we had a few false starts. We thought we'd save some time on that project by having our factory do the software for the Stereo Dock, but we've learned that you don't always necessarily want that in some cases. The Stereo Dock is very much alive, we have the physical prototypes to prove it! We expect to have a formal update on when you can buy one later this year."

This isn't the first delay in Playdate's history. Panic had to postpone the handheld's release in November 2021 because of a serious battery issue that forced the company to swap suppliers last minute. Playdate shipments started rolling out about four months behind schedule, in April 2022. It was well worth the wait, according to most reviewers.

It's been two years to the month since Playdate came out, and we just published a re-review looking at the platform's growth and how this cranky yellow square has become a hub for innovation in game development. Read that right here.