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President Vladimir Putin wants Russia to have its own PlayStation console or Steam deck

By Aaron Yip - on 31 Mar 2024, 10:36pm

President Vladimir Putin wants Russia to have its own PlayStation console or Steam deck

Russian President Vladimir Putin has issued an edict to his government, and if you have been following the current situation in eastern Europe (or the whole of Europe, for that matter) it’s not quite what you might be thinking.

According to a media report, Putin wants to develop a domestic and independent gaming ecosystem in the country, amidst a backdrop of global gaming publishers like Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo ceasing their operations there due to Western sanctions. In short, if you’re living in Moscow, it’s extremely difficult (if its even possible at all) to get a copy of Final Fantasy VII: Rebirth. Even if you do, it might not even be possible to play games like Helldivers 2, which requires an Internet connection to Sony’s servers.

As part of the plan, he wants to launch a Russian gaming console.

Yup.

His plans also include improving software development and cloud infrastructure to support the gaming industry in Russia.

Reports from Russian newspaper Kommersant suggest that local tech conglomerate VK is likely to spearhead the project. Yet, this is going to take some herculean efforts by the Russian government. For one, Russia lacks the necessary expertise and infrastructure to produce a ‘PlayStation’ or ‘Xbox’ console on its own soil. Compounding the challenge is that such hi-tech consoles require advanced chip technologies from Intel, AMD, NVIDIA, Qualcomm…just to name a few. And it’s a resource made scarce by US-led sanctions. There’s also a lack of a vibrant games development scene, as many Russian developers got out of the country to avoid being enlisted into the armed forces.

It’s also difficult to gauge if the Russian market is big enough to sustain its own gaming ecosystem. Only time will tell if Putin gets his wish.

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