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A photo of the Playdate.
Image: Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

Panic’s little yellow handheld has sold a lot more than anticipated. Today, the company confirmed that the Playdate has sold 53,000 units, more than double the initial production run of 20,000. However, a large number of those customers are still waiting to crank away: Panic says that it has shipped 27,000 of those orders, and “the team is hard at work on getting customers their Playdates, and fully expect to deliver all pre-orders by the end of this year.”

In a statement, Playdate’s project lead Greg Maletic said, “When we started, we had no idea how big the audience would be for a weird product like this, but we told the factory: build 20,000. To have now sold more than 53,000 (and counting) is heartening. And this, at a time when parts shortages forced our delivery lead-times out as much as a year. As those lead-times shorten and Playdate delivery becomes more immediate, we’re looking forward to an even better year two.”

The first batch of Playdate units started shipping a year ago. In March, Panic launched a curated games store called Catalog, available both on the device and on the web, and this month, the Playdate saw its price jump by $20 to $199 (the second such price bump). The device also supports sideloaded games purchased from places like Itch.io, and Panic says that, to date, 39 percent of users have utilized the feature.

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