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Sony halts PlayStation hardware and software sales in Russia

The company is also cutting access to the PlayStation Store.
A customer plays a game on PlayStation 4 (PS4) in a store of Russia's biggest electrical and white goods retailer M.video in Moscow, Russia, April 15, 2016. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev
REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev
Jon Fingas
Jon Fingas|@jonfingas|March 9, 2022 4:25 PM

Sony is joining Microsoft in stopping Russian sales following the country's invasion of Ukraine. CNBC reports Sony has halted all PlayStation hardware and software sales in Russia, and has cut access to the digital PlayStation Store. The company called for "peace in Ukraine" and said it would donate $2 million to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as well as Save the Children.

The decision comes a week after Ukraine Vice Prime Minister Mykhailo Fedorov called on Microsoft and Sony to block Russian players, and a few days after Microsoft stopped all sales in the country. Nintendo put its Russian eShop in "maintenance mode," but that may have been due to a payment service freezing processing for purchases made using rubles.

Numerous Western game developers have stopped selling their work in Russia, including Ubisoft, Take-Two, CD Projekt Red, EA, Activision Blizzard and Epic. However, Sony's move might be the most damaging yet. Russian gamers will have a much harder time expanding their game libraries, and they can forget about buying the already-elusive PlayStation 5. Sony may feel the sting when it dominates Russian console sales (according to IDC data), but there might not be much practical choice when there's so much industry pressure to take a stand on the Ukraine war.