Smach Z gets delayed again after company fails to meet 2019 deadline; Q1 2020 looking unlikely too
The arrival of what look like final pictures of the GPD Win Max got us thinking. What happened to the Smach Z? We do not mean in the last few years, with console mired in a host of issues since it reached its Kickstarter goal in 2016. Recently, things were looking up for the console. Smach brought its console to E3 2019, Gamescom 2019 and the Tokyo Game Show 2019, while The Phawx published a series of in-depth videos on the prototype that they received. The Smach team have been silent on Facebook and Twitter since September, but we thought that backers were due to receive their units by last Christmas at the latest.
While we can no longer find a reference to that on the Smach Z website, there are hints on the company's Facebook page that backers were expecting to receive their devices by the end of December 2019. Additionally, one post on r/smachz showed that development seemed on track for December. Indeed Daniel Fernandez, CEO of Smach Z, told Comix Asylum in October that:
The SMACH Z will be first shipped to pre-orders by the end of 2019.
However, multiple posts on r/smachz reveal that Smach Z missed that date. In the intervening period between October and December, backers reported of experiencing "radio silence" from Smach Z, with other observing some sort of NDA, too. An article by CincoDías published in November states that Smach Z intended to ship the first units to backers in Q1 2020. Oddly, it seemed that backers were not informed of this, and were led to believe that their orders were still on schedule to arrive in December 2019.
More recently, in an article last updated on February 14, Smach Z told El Mundo that backers will start receiving their orders "...puede ser en cuestión de un mes" (in a matter of a month). However, an issue has arisen that could delay the release of the Smach Z again. Now, frequent poster u/Medallish has informed r/smachz that there have been issues with the moulds of the Smach Z. Apparently, these must be redone. Compounding the issue, these moulds are manufactured in China, and the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 means there is no date when these will be recast.
In short, no-one has received their Smach Z yet. Worse still, it looks like the tentative Q1 2020 release date will be missed if the most-recent update by u/Medallish is anything to go by.