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Official PlayStation Magazine Discontinued 51

Posted by Zonk
from the sorry-to-see-you-go dept.
Citing the advent of downloadable game demos and an inability for the magazine to 'fit into our integrated media network or afford us digital media opportunities', Ziff Davis' Official PlayStation Magazine will be closed out in January of next year. From the Gamasutra article: "According to the firm, Sony Computer Entertainment America will remain a key content and marketing partner for Ziff Davis Game Group, which will cover SCEA's PlayStation 3 and first-party games extensively across all of its media outlets, including EGM, 1UP.com, and GameVideos.com. The Game Group editorial team will also 'work closely with SCEA in the development of digital content for the PlayStation Network, accessible only through the PS3.' Due to the long-term decline in the magazine advertising market, Ziff Davis has been gradually transitioning away from print for some time, aggressively building up 1UP.com as its central website portal." 1up is carrying a story with the official announcement and some low-key commentary. If you're interested in how much this had to do with subscription numbers, GameSetWatch has a run-down on subscribers for many of the large gaming rags.
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Official PlayStation Magazine Discontinued

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  • Makes Sense (Score:2, Interesting)

    by RichardMarks (1011125)
    I can't remember the last time I even touched a physical game magazine - has to be years now.

    Every single PS3 is going to have a webbrowser and access to a complete Sony network infrastructure for news, demos, online purchase of games, movie and music downloads.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      For those of you who don't already know, Dr Richard Marks is the creator of the EyeToy, and works as a researcher for Sony Computer Entertainment America.

      His posting history is highly pro-PS3, as you would expect, since he has a major vested interest in the success of PS3.
    • by sqlrob (173498)
      And Sony has promised to support the PS2 for a while, and games like God of War 2 aren't coming out until April or later.

      PS3 is far from all there is, especially with the shortages.
    • Except for the majority of people, who don't have a broadband connection.
    • by Threni (635302)
      But who's going to give official Sony games 10/10 A++++!! reviews now?
    • by hurfy (735314)
      I thought only 10% of Xboxes were online with a presumably better service. How on earth can one assume that all PS3 will magically be online?

      Must be that irresistable must-have online game... oh wait.....
  • If even the publishers feel that they're having problems offering anything special, of course their numbers go down.
    I really don't think this is something they're trying to hide.
    • I stopped reading OPM a long time ago. Never mind the fact that the demo discs have lately been nothing but one (usually lousy) new game demo, and six demos of games that have been on the $20 rack for months, if not years. In fact, a couple months ago, I'm fairly certain I saw a PS2 launch title on the demo disc.

      I quit reading because the writing was so damn lousy. It had been going downhill for a long time, but the final straw was when the Katamari Damacy game review consisted of nothing but a list of

  • Paper vs plastic (Score:2, Interesting)

    by mgabrys_sf (951552)
    I noticed they chalked up the downloadable demos as thier primary reason. Good thing to see they valued a strong editorial staff over PR compilation chaff. This alone not only drives the magazine's price up and makes you feel like a sap for purchasing a "multimedia marketing solution" (aren't ads supposed to help pay the cost of the magazine, not drive it up? Basic publishing LAW anyone?), but pushes good copy further into the margins. Of course - it would have helped for them to have HAD good copy, but tha
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Aladrin (926209)
      Actually, I see the 'downloadable demos' as part of a huge chain of problems, which includes the problem of the ads not supporting the magazine.

      The price you can get for advertisements depends wholly on the number of people that can be expected to see the ad. If fewer people buy the magazine, fewer advertisers will put their money on it. Combine this with the fact that it's probably quite a bit cheaper per magazine to print a million than print 100 thousand. (I'm guessing at those numbers.)

      It's not just
      • That's why content might sell. If they hired writers instead of data-entry monkeys that transcribed PR releases and "insider info" from the manufactures easter-egg list.

        "But Dang it Maw - writin' is hard! Can't I just say "I peed my pants" again in this thar review? How do you spell XTREEME again?"
      • by JFMulder (59706)
        Look at the numbers in the second link of the article. The Xbox Magazine actually enjoyed a raise in subscription numbers, even tough the Xbox is for all purpose dead and the 360 has downloadable demos. Also, it's interresting that the magazine has more subscribers than the Playstation Magazine even tough it has a marketshare a quarter of the Playstation's. Maybe it has to do with the fact that there's not a lot of Xbox magazines. That might be why it works so well. Or maybe the quality of the printed magaz
        • by Aladrin (926209)
          Actually, OXM does cover the XBox 360 also, from what I can tell. (Went to the forums, which were hosted at xbox.com, and threads talk about OXM not having an article on Halo 3, which is a 360-only title.)

          Also of note was that Game Informer and EGM were up MORE than the others were down. Game Informer was actually up more than the total subscription of some of those magazines.

          I think the answer is indeed 'content.' Someone used to leave EGM here at work and I'd read it when otherwise occupied. They gene
        • by blincoln (592401)
          Maybe it's because Official Xbox Magazine has pleasant writing, and a staff that seems genuinely excited about the console. For an official magazine, they even have very honest reviews of games.

          I don't subscribe to gaming magazines anymore, because I don't have that much time for games. But when I did, I was continually annoyed by OPM's descent into insulting their readership and trying to seem "edgy." I had been wondering when Sony was going to realize that that was bad for business.
    • Funny you should mention that. I'd almost never pay money for a paper gaming magazine in this day and age, least of all the thinly veiled ad that is the "official" mag.. but I happen to be a "Metal Gear Solid" fanboy. As such, I've actually bought the Official Playstation Mag a few times, just because they were the first with an MGS demo disc. The MGS discs were played through, put into a proper case, and added to my MGS collectibles shelf, while the magazine would get tossed into my bathroom to suffer t
  • Since both the Official 360, Xbox and PS2 mags were the only ones to carry playable demos. And even that was when I really wanted a particular demo, maybe once every six months. I certainly didn't buy them for the news, which is bound to be heavily skewed. And now I have a 360 with Live, I can download demos from the market place, and I suspect Sony will do the same thing with the PS3.
    • by ZakuSage (874456)
      Well back when I only had a PS2, I didn't really see a reason to buy a gaming magazine that went on and on about GameCube or Xbox, so OPM seemed like the best value if you're looking for informed editorials on gaming news. For me, the demo was more of an icing on the cake, and was usually something I just fucked around with and eventually threw out (considering the best demo I ever played on one of those things was for Area 51, it's not hard to see why).
  • by earthbound kid (859282) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @05:30AM (#16849964) Homepage
    Game magazines as a place where game publishers show off screen shots from upcoming games and reviewers give scores no longer make sense as a business model. No one who is really interested in games is without an internet connection, so they can go to the game publisher's website themselves or get them from other sites that totally ad supported and thus free. The web also has videos, which are superior to screen shots. The web is also more timely. Furthermore, the web is full of average people who will give their opinion on games. Go to GameFAQs.com, and you can read a lot of average people's opinions. Yes, they only ever score things 10 or 5 (love it or hate it), but you can still figure out what kind of game it is when they explain why.

    No, the only reason for publishing a monthly game magazine now is to talk about news that says new: that is to talk about games as a medium, instead of hyping big upcoming game X. As gamers get more mature, there are more people who want to read New Yorker-style intelligent breakdowns of what gaming conventions mean and what the role of games is in society. Things like the Escapist and Gamers Quarter may seem too on the fringe right now to make much money, but the fact is that in the future, that kind of content is the only thing gamers will be willing to actually spend money on. Everything else we can just get for free*.

    *With ads, of course. But at least no cover or subscription price.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Valacosa (863657)
      Using the same reasoning, why do we still have porn mags? Those seem to exist alongside digital media without being driven to extinction.
      "No one who is really interested in boobs is without an internet connection, so they can go to ... sites that [are] totally ad supported and thus free. The web also has videos, which are superior to screen shots."
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Aladrin (926209)
        Because not everyone has an LCD monitor on their bed?

        They're both magazines, but the USE of the magazine differs substantially. It's like saying 'Pickup trucks can do so much MORE than cars, why does anyone buy a car anymore?'
      • Using the same reasoning, why do we still have porn mags? Those seem to exist alongside digital media without being driven to extinction.

        Cuz we can't all have that wireless internets in our big rigs, city boy.
  • This isn't particularly surprising. Lots of print media is being superceeded by digital media, and glossy, high-cost gaming mags are struggling to find a niche for themselves. Online gives you immediate feedback, immediate screenshots, immediate numbers. Metacritic will give you a more reliable game score than any individual review crew ever could. And cross referencing online is easy.

    Probably the biggest complaint about gaming journalism is a lack of objectivity. Lots of it read like glorified adverti
    • Edge and Pcgamer are the only magazines i still buy, Edge because it actually has journalism and good writers. PC Gamer to save a few GB's of driver downloads. Edge is dying tho, the news is increasingly irrelevent and outdated - which is a shame. Sadly, their transition to online plan is non existent.

      I subbed to GD mag for a year and didnt bother resubscribing, it's flimsy and not worth the money - their gamasutra website is far better than the print publication.
  • by Digital Vomit (891734) on Wednesday November 15, 2006 @06:53AM (#16850294) Homepage Journal
    In a recent interview with Computer and Video Games, Official PlayStation Magazine's Editor in Chief Tom Byron remarked, "We have built up a certain brand equity over time since the launch of Official PlayStation Magazine that the first five million subscribers are going to buy it, whatever it is, even if it didn't have articles."
  • Let's face it -- it's the age where news hits the web days or weeks before it can ever see the light of day in print media. I used to always buy post-E3 mags, but for the last few years it's been easier (and faster) to check online sources that update the *day of* the event and not weeks later. Using demo disks just delayed the inevitable and put the price of the magazines out of reach for those of use interested only in the news content and not in the demos. I'm surprised XBox Magazine still carries dem
    • by sottitron (923868)

      Let's face it -- it's the age where news hits the web days or weeks before it can ever see the light of day in print media.

      I want to agree with this, but everytime I pick up a game magazine, I find something in there that I was not aware of before. Maybe it hits the web, but the developer isn't sending truckloads of cash to the web's gaming sites?? And I think XBox has demo disks more for the Original XBox owners than for 360 owners. Plus they can put video content on there so XBox owners can see what t

  • If I recall correctly, the Official PlayStation Magazine was always really spendy per issue. For your dollar you could get another gaming magazine that has all console (and possilby also PC) games in it for less.

    Also a lot of gamers now own multiple systems, and would want reviews and news for all the new games.
  • but I love having gaming mags laying around...granted, I go online to see videos and such, but while waiting for a Washington Caps game to start or while in the bathroom, gaming mags are fantastic...I've had a constant subscription to at LEAST 2 gaming mags at all times since Nintendo Power first came on to the scene...I should go back and read some of those, the old school Power mags were awesome...
  • I quote:

    Future and Sony confirm ongoing relationship

    Following the announcement that the US Official PlayStation Magazine is to close, Future Publishing and Sony Computer Entertainment have confirmed that the UK version will continue.

    My source
    http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid= 21101 [gamesindustry.biz]

  • by Guppy06 (410832)
    Gaming magazines for me died the day they changed the format of Nintendo Power. Yeah, they were nothing but 30+ pages of a Nintendo advertisement, but at least they were a good advertisement.
    • Gaming magazines died for me when they discontinued Next Generation magazine [wikipedia.org].

      Whereas every other video game magazine at the time tried to treat gamers as if they were pre-pubescent boys, NG spoke to readers as if they were intelligent adults, at least most of the time.
    • I got Nintendo Power ages ago for my birthday. Back then, they often gave maps of a game (sometimes just a level or two) that showed where hidden items were. This worked back then because most games were sidescrollers and not terribly big. Added to that, I didn't have internet access back then so the tips and tricks were useful. Nowadays games are too big to give much more than a very generic map. Better and more tips and tricks can be found on the internet. I have no idea what the format of Nintendo Power
    • Gaming magazines for me died the day they changed the format of Nintendo Power.
      You mean when Nintendo Power went color in 1987? That was probably the last time I read a gaming magazine too...
  • You're telling us this had nothing to do with the decision to shut it down?

    http://www.1up.com/do/blogEntry?bId=7344653&public UserId=5380375 [1up.com]

    So ultimately, I can't justify it. $600 is a lot of money, especially when I can get what--for me at least--will be a very similar experience for $400. I would like to own a PS3, and I hope that the price drops soon so I can consider it. But until then, this Official PlayStation Magazine editor will have to join the dark side.

    (This editorial lapse in judgement prob

  • Remember a while back all the hubbub around a couple of the OPM editors revealing in their blogs [1up.com] that they likely will get an xbox 360 instead of a playstation? I wonder if this had anything to do with the decision to end OPM.
  • If you can read The Escapist [escapistmagazine.com] and The Gamer's Quarter [gamersquarter.com], and get cheats and strategies at GameFAQs [gamefaqs.com], all of that for free... what's the point? Printed mags cost money, usually lack depth, and may suffer an influence of ad-buyers in their ratings.

    At least with Diehard Gamefan you knew what was their bias -- they were also an import store, of course they'd praise some Japan-only stuff... too bad they were usually right, I still wonder who's the idiot at Sega who thought a masterpiece like Monster World IV w
  • by Spykk (823586)
    This headline mentions a relationship between sony and 1up.com. Acouple headlines down the list and we see a link to an article on 1up.com comparing the wii and ps3 in favor of the ps3. Probably coincidence but interesting nonetheless.
  • Here's my post on my blog relevant to this: http://oregonstate.edu/~brewsteb/2006/10/24/69/ [oregonstate.edu] As follows: "I do not envy the position of the Official Xbox Magazine. In the past, they had an easy business model: do articles, and provide DVDs filled with demos. As practically the only source where you could go to find demos for games before they came out, OXM's success was guaranteed! Fast forward to today, when OXMs biggest selling point has been one-upped by the Marketplace. Now, as soon as a developer has
  • So now every PS3 gamer will have to download their 30gb game trough the Sony online service instead of buying a blue-ray disk with all that content that will cost less than what bandwith cost these days....

    All hails Blue-Ray! All hails online downloads! All hails my 8$ a gig extra! All hails that 240$ demo! hum.. yeah...
  • I find it interesting, that while so many of the comments on this posting claim "the age of gaming magazines is dead", the GameSetWatch article on circulation numbers [gamesetwatch.com] shows that Gamestop's [gamestop.com] Game Informer [gameinformer.com] magazine has been steadily increasing in subscription numbers, gaining almost 900,000 subscriptions between 2003 and 2006 to a current standing of nearly 2 million subscriptions. What distinguishes this magazine? It's the only one that I'm aware of that covers all the consoles *and* PC games, and costs about

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