When Panic first launched pre-orders of its lovely little retro-inspired handheld gaming gadget, Playdate, it anticipated the primary 20,000 items to ship by the tip of 2021 — simply in time, they hoped, for the vacations. That first batch bought out in below 20 minutes.

Sadly, as a result of last-minute battery element points, even these first orders have now slipped again to 2022.

In an replace e-mail despatched to impacted pre-orderers, Panic writes:

As our first 5,000 completed Playdate items arrived at our warehouse in California for 2021, we started to check a number of of them. We rapidly turned involved that a few of them weren’t giving us the battery life we anticipated. Playdate’s battery is designed to final a really very long time, and at all times be prepared for you, even when not used for some time. But that was not the case: actually, we discovered plenty of items with batteries so drained, Playdate wouldn’t energy on in any respect — and couldn’t be charged. That’s a battery worst-case state of affairs.

This rapidly become a months-long, all-hands-on-deck analysis stress-ball, and we halted manufacturing on the manufacturing unit.

The conclusion?

We made the troublesome, costly choice to exchange all of our present batteries with model new ones, from a completely totally different battery provider.

Panic goes on to notice that they’ve acquired new batteries and so they’re now working as hoped … however transport every thing again to Malaysia, swapping out the batteries and getting them again throughout the ocean goes to take some time.

Meanwhile, the corporate additionally found that the CPU it deliberate to make use of for all Playdate items shipped in 2022 is now backordered for literal years.

With numerous pre-orders in place, we instantly positioned an order at our manufacturing unit for all of the elements wanted for 2022 items and past. The response was … sobering. Many of our elements have been delayed considerably. In reality, we are able to’t get any extra of Playdate’s present CPU for — you’re not going to consider this — two years. Like, 730 days.

Maybe you’ve heard in regards to the “global chip shortage” everybody’s speaking about? We’re right here to say it is vitally actual. Covid-19 brought about an ever-cascading set of worldwide provide chain failures which can be resulting in many, many digital elements being merely … gone.

To work round this, the corporate has redesigned Playdate’s boards to help a special CPU — one they are saying is extra available, however that they don’t anticipate to impression the best way the hand held works in any approach that the consumer would possibly discover.

The full textual content of Panic’s delay announcement is on the market right here.

The firm says that though items one by means of 20,000 have slipped into 2022, they don’t at the moment anticipate orders positioned to this point to slide into 2023.

As at all times, {hardware} is tough. Add a pandemic to the combo, and, properly….


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