Putin Wants Russia To Make PlayStation And Xbox Competitor

Putin Wants Russia To Make PlayStation And Xbox Competitor


A headshot of Vladimir Putin, the Russian president.

Image: Thomas Kronsteiner (Getty Images)

If you thought the current landscape of video game consoles and handhelds was already packed, the entirety of Russia has something to say about that. At the very least, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin does, since he’s issued a mandate: produce Russian video game consoles to compete with the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S. Bit of a tall order there.

Per a report from the Russian newspaper Kommersant, the order was handed down from the Kremlin to “consider the issue of organizing the production of stationary and portable game consoles and game consoles.” Kommersant’s sources tell the nationally distributed Russian paper that the VK Group, a major Russian tech company behind the similarly named social media service VK, will be largely responsible for the project. The production of consoles will be handled by the GS Group, which was previously known as General Satellite and is the single largest Russian developer of set-top boxes.

As part of the order from the Russian government on March 25, the VK and GS Groups will be responsible for producing both home and portable consoles for Russian consumers by June 15, 2024. The order has only grown taller. This move isn’t Russia’s first in the video game industry—the country tried to “penetrate” gaming communities last year, and considered creating its own game engine the year before that. But it does mark a remarkable shift since the majority of the games industry cut off relations with the country amidst its invasion of Ukraine in 2022. Russia’s government is now trying to effectively kick off its own games industry, likely to offset the financial sting of those sanctions.

As an additional measure of Russia’s order, these developers have also been tasked with the “creation of an operating system and a cloud system for delivering games and programs to users.” Again, the government and these developers have been ordered to realize this by the middle of June. Of this year. Our own functional cloud services, like Remote Play and PS3 game streaming on PS5, still falter, leaving the possibility of realizing this in a matter of months unfeasible.

Per the Kommersant, analysts are already saying that “there is no competence to produce their own PlayStation and Xbox consoles, and creating such a system from scratch will take up to ten years.”


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