Panic, in an update to those who’ve pre-ordered the Playdate:
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.
And there’s one huge silver lining: we’re extremely glad that we
found this potential issue before shipping you a Playdate.
With lots of pre-orders in place, we immediately placed an order
at our factory for all the parts needed for 2022 units and beyond.
The response was… sobering. Many of our parts have been delayed
significantly. In fact, we can’t get any more of Playdate’s
current CPU for — you’re not going to believe this — two years.
Like, 730 days.
Maybe you’ve heard about the “global chip shortage” everyone’s
talking about? We’re here to say it is very real. Covid-19 caused
an ever-cascading set of worldwide supply chain failures that are
leading to many, many electronic parts being simply… gone.
The good news on that front is that they’ve already designed a new logic board using a different, but equivalent, CPU that is available. More good news: the Playdate SDKs (there are two — the full SDK using C and Lua, and a web-based graphical you-don’t-even-have-to-be-a-programmer-to-make-a-game tool called Pulp) are close to shipping.
Basically, shipping any project is hard. Shipping hardware is really hard. And shipping hardware amidst this pandemic-induced global supply chain fiasco is just crazy hard. Valve’s Steam Deck — sort of the anti-Playdate — is delayed into early 2022 too, and both Sony and Nintendo have cut production estimates for the PlayStation 5 and Switch consoles.
★ Saturday, 13 November 2021