Palpatine Strikes Back: Is Russia Creating its own Gaming Console?

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The founders of Tetris have built themselves a Tetris Iron Wall when it comes to being a part of the gaming community. It’s been over two years since the boycott ban of Russian games and the overall exclusion of the Russian market from the world of gaming. Here’s what’s happened. 

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Putin Has a Plan 

Vladimir Putin himself has been recorded talking about his plan to create Russia’s very own gaming console along with the necessary software mainframe in order for the country to operate its very own gaming industry, but many are doubtful. 

PC Gamer has recently noted that news from the Kremlin states there is to be an increase in funding for various sectors within the country. One such sector is the world of gaming. The Ministry of Digital Development is looking to develop a domestic Russian gaming engine that would exclude the need for the input of Western technology. 

Is Putin’s Plan Possible?

Building your own console isn’t like playing with your Lego behind closed doors. Building a console means developing a bespoke operating system which requires a lot of work. 

To build a gaming platform that can withstand bugs, glitches, and hackers and have the capacity to support the whole of Russia’s gaming population is a hefty task, even if you know what you’re talking about. From payment processors to downloads, online features and quality control, even major companies such as Microsoft and Valve don’t always get it right. 

Not only does Russia lack developers with the skills to create such a masterpiece, but it would also need a significant amount of funding. According to the Russian-language newspaper known as the Kommersant, creating what Putin is after will take over a decade to complete and will cost the country between 5 and 10 billion roubles (that’s roughly $110M USD). Not only that but by the time it reaches the stage of being able to hit the market, technology would have already advanced way further than Russia could keep up with. 

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A Look at Gaming In Russia

Most Russian gamers still have a way into the Western side of gaming and use piracy to sort out their access to popular games. This is all due to the decrease in domestic game development since the start of the Ukraine War.

Russian game and console sellers have still managed to find ways to get Western consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation across the borders but at a high cost and under the nose of Putin. This has resulted in Putin calling for the development of both a stationary and mobile gaming console.  

So is it Possible?

Well there’s no way of knowing the answer for sure. Russia managed to create Tetris during the Cold War so who knows what they have up their sleeves. Putin has given orders to Russian Prime Minister Mikhaïl Mishustin to produce results by June 15th. Many doubt the ambitious proposal so the result of the order should be interesting. 

Not only does this mean creating a new console, software programme and platform, but Russia will have to try to replicate the large scale development and manufacturing of advanced processing chips that America has a stronghold on.