Putin wants Russia to make game consoles to rival PlayStation and Xbox | GosuGamers

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Russia is looking into making its own gaming hardware, following its cut ties with the games industry. 

President of Russia Vladimir Putin reportedly wants a homegrown gaming console to rival Steam, PlayStation and Xbox. This move comes more than two years after the majority of the games industry cut ties with Russia due to its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, which left the country stranded without its associated financial benefits. It looks like Putin now wants to create a homegrown games industry complete with its own hardware, software, operating system and cloud system. 

According to a listing spotted by PCGamer and reported on by Russian-language newspaper Kommersant, the Russian government has a deadline of June 15th to decide how feasible this undertaking actually is – though it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know it’s a tall order to begin with. 


Russia wants to make its own gaming hardware

Most of the games industry left Russia behind upon its invasion of Ukraine, and it looks like that move has had a financial toll on the country. A meeting in late January reportedly saw Putin attend a meeting regarding the socioeconomic development of the country, which ended with a list of nine instructions approved to be followed up on later. 

One of these instructions is to create a gaming entertainment ecosystem from scratch locally. This includes the development of both stationary and portable gaming consoles, and the creation of a new operating system and cloud system for these consoles. Each of these would be an ambitious task in and of itself, but Putin wants the whole shebang. 

According to Kommersant, a Russian tech company called the VK Group, which previously created the Russian social media platform VK, has been tasked with handling the project. The consoles will be produced by the GS Group – a Russian industrial investment company that deals in the development and production of electronics. Russia has attempted to get a foot in the door of the games industry before by coming up with its own game engine, but this looks to be a much more challenging endeavour.

In fact, it might be totally unfeasible. Kommersant spoke to sources to investigate whether or not Russia is actually capable of pulling this off, only to be told that creating a ‘system’ like this would take up to 10 years and cost 5-10 billion rubles. Even then, the tech they would come up with would lag behind international standards by 10-15 years. At this point, it’s likely that the government investigates Putin’s order until it hits the June 15 deadline, and simply says, “No can do, boss.” 

There’s a lot to unpack here. Does Russia want a game console that’s both portable and stationary, like the Nintendo Switch, or two separate console types?? Who would be in charge of producing games for these consoles, and how long would they take to make? What platform would sell them? Would they run international software, or be limited to whatever Russian developers produce locally? A lot of people would have to be involved in an undertaking like this, which could prove more costly than whatever amount the government is willing to shell out. 

Granted, Russia will only have to figure all this out if it actually chooses to move forward with the order on June 15. 

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