The Smach Z project goes quiet as Smach continues to issue refunds to backers
It may well be the end of the road for the Smach Z. The handheld console has been in development since October 2016, but Smach seemed to be finally on track to deliver last year. The company attended E3 2019, among other conferences last year, with working devices and claimed that it would begin shipping "by the end of 2019".
2020 rolled around and Smach pivoted to a Q1 2020 release date, but it missed that window too. Smach has not updated any of its social media platforms since September 2019 and continues to lock down its forums, leaving the device's Kickstarter page and r/smachz sub-Reddit as the only sources of updates for many Smach Z fans.
Sadly, these make for grim reading. There has been no update since June, where Smach announced another delay owing to having ordered sub-standard plastic chassis from a factory in China. According to multiple posts spread across Reddit and Kickstarter, the company is now issuing refunds, albeit some have had theirs delayed "because of COVID". Conversely, others claim to have received their refunds in the last few months. It remains possible to reserve a Smach Z for US$10, although Smach now only accepts payments via Bitpay or Stripe.
Smach still expects the Smach Z to ship "during 2020", but this seems increasingly unlikely. In short, the continued delays and the increasingly fewer updates suggest that the Smach Z project is finally dead, almost four years after its inception.