The Dendy Was A Soviet Clone Of Which Popular Game Console?
The Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) was introduced to Japanese, American, and European markets between 1983 and 1987. In the markets that Nintendo released it to, the NES enjoyed astronomical popularity and sold nearly 62 million units worldwide. The game system proved to be so popular that it sold well even in markets under-served by Nintendo, though usually through the sales of cloned consoles instead of imported NES units.
One such market was Russia. Western game companies had entirely ignored Russia, but that didn’t mean that Russians didn’t long for the same gaming experience their western counterparts were enjoying. In the early 1990s, Andrey Cheglakov, Maxim Selivanov, Vladislav Undeyev, Rustem Ahiyarov, and Michael Riner founded Steepler Ltd., a Russian I.T. company that promptly set to work filling the niche in the Russian gaming market by cloning the Nintendo Entertainment System. The clone, known as Dendy, was an overnight success and sold 2 million units.
Not only did the Dendy bring video games to millions of Russians, but it also sent a loud and clear signal to video game companies that Russians were willing to spend money on video games. Shortly after the wild success of the Dendy, Nintendo began distributing Super Nintendo Entertainment Systems (along with Game Boys and Virtual Boys) through Steepler, Sega began distributing consoles through their own channels, and the original Sony PlayStation appeared in the Russian market.
Image courtesy of Steepler.