Dinky handheld console Playdate which was to launch this year has now been delayed until early 2022. Once again supply chains are the issue, this time it’s a lack of batteries that has held things up. “This quickly turned into a months-long, all-hands-on-deck research stress-ball, and we halted production at the factory,” says Panic’s Cabel Sasser in the first Playdate Owners Update newsletter that was sent today.
Here’s more from a blog post from Panic.
As our first 5,000 finished Playdate units arrived at our warehouse in California for 2021, we began to test a few of them. We quickly became concerned that some of them weren’t giving us the battery life we expected. Playdate’s battery is designed to last a very long time, and always be ready for you, even if not used for a while. But that was not the case: in fact, we found a number of units with batteries so drained, Playdate wouldn’t power on at all — and couldn’t be charged. That’s a battery worst-case scenario.
This quickly turned into a months-long, all-hands-on-deck research stress-ball, and we halted production at the factory.
The conclusion? We made the difficult, expensive decision to replace all of our existing batteries with brand new ones, from a totally different battery supplier.
It was extra frustrating, because when we built our Developer Preview units, the exact same type of batteries worked just fine — but something, somewhere (we’re researching) changed between then and now, and the new ones did not work just fine. We have no time to waste, so we’re moving on.
And so, we shipped 5,000 finished Playdates back to Malaysia to be given new batteries. How did that feel? Not great!!!
The good news: we’ve already received the new batteries from the new supplier, and they’re looking really impressive — they’re exactly what we’re hoping for, if not even better than before. We’re extremely confident the new supplier can give Playdate the battery life we designed, and you deserve.
Playdates USP is that the console has a tiny crank on the side which can be used to control games. Dom was rather taken with the console when it was announced, you can read his thoughts here.
Source: Press release / Panic