Geek Trivia: The Dendy Was A Soviet Clone Of Which Popular Game Console?

Answer: NES

The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was introduced to the Japanese, American and European markets between 1983 and 1987. In the markets on which Nintendo launched it, the NES enjoyed an astronomical popularity and had sold nearly 62 million units worldwide. The gaming system proved so popular that it sold well even in markets underserved by Nintendo, although this is generally through the sale of cloned consoles instead of imported NES units.

Such a market was Russia. Western gaming companies had totally ignored Russia, but that did not mean that the Russians did not want the same gaming experience as their Western counterparts. In the early 1990s, Andrey Cheglakov, Maxim Selivanov, Vladislav Undeyev, Rustem Ahiyarov and Michael Riner founded Steepler Ltd., a Russian company. a company that quickly set to work to fill the niche of the Russian gaming market by cloning the Nintendo entertainment system. The clone, known as Dendy, was an immediate success and sold 2 million units.

Not only did the Dendy bring video games to millions of Russians, but he also made it clear to the video game companies that the Russians were willing to spend money on video games. Shortly after the resounding success of the Dendy, Nintendo started distributing Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems (with Game Boys and Virtual Boys) via Steepler, Sega began distributing consoles through its own channels, and the original Sony PlayStation appeared on the Russian market.

Image reproduced with the kind permission of Steepler.

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