2021 was primed to be quite the big year for gaming handhelds, with the release of a new Switch revision, the OLED version which we thought was a solid update even if not what many hoped for, the Steam Deck and Panic’s quirky Playdate, the very small handheld that had a crank and a slate of smaller, experimental titles. The keyword, of course, is was. While the Switch OLED did make it out this year, the Steam Deck saw a delay earlier this week. Now it seems the Playdate is next.
In an email sent out to buyers, it was confirmed that the system would not be making its 2021 date. While many buyers were already in line for 2022, initial buyers who got in early were scheduled to get the Playdate in “late 2021.” Considering how little information had been out there since pre-orders went live, it’s not a huge surprise. According to Panic, the issue stemmed from a battery issue that saw a lot of units unable to power on and charge, thus making them decide to replace the battery in all the units. They also point to the global chip shortage, which is impacting other platform holders, as another issue.
The Playdate 2021 pre-orders sold out in just the span of a few minutes, but now they will have to wait to see how the little handheld fares in early 2022. Pre-orders that happened afterward are still slated for the second half of 2022 and groups after 50,000 units in 2023.