The Playdate handheld release window ended up pushed back. Rather than releasing in 2021, they will instead show up in 2022. The first 20,000 will appear in early 2022. The next 30,000 are expected in the second half of 2022, but will involve a new CPU. In addition to detailing what caused the delay, Panic also went over other upcoming releases and details about the system.
First, all batteries are being replaced with different ones. This is due to a “critical battery issue” with the original one. The new ones will also last longer than originally expected. All of the Playdate handheld batteries in the 5,000 ones that were ready are being replaced by hand. Also, all other new ones will already have the new batteries.
There will also be pandemic-related delays. This caused a shift in the CPU used for future 2022 Playdates. Since there would have been a 730 day delay for the current parts, there will be a revised CPU board. The goal is to get more Playdates out in 2022 as a result. The current estimate is that the first 50,000 systems should appear in 2022, with others launching in 2023.
As for the other dates, there are two notable ones. In January 2022, the Pulp Public Beta will take place. Apparently, PCs will be fine for it. No Playdate is needed. In February 2022, the SDK will launch.
Following this delay, the first 20,000 Playdate handhelds will launch in early 2022. They were originally expected to ship at the end of 2021.