PlayStation Official Magazine
PlayStation Official Magazine cover from November 2008 issue
Tim Clark (issues 1 to 39)
|Categories||Computer and video games|
|First issue||Winter 2006|
PlayStation Official Magazine - UK, generally abbreviated as OPM, is a magazine based in the United Kingdom that covers PlayStation news, originally created in Winter 2006. Although the first issue was distributed in three-month intervals, from Issue 2 onward, it became a monthly segment. As of Issue 7 (June 2007), the magazine comes with a playable Blu-ray Disc; it primarily covers PlayStation 3 and Playstation 4 games and material. However, it additionally also covers PlayStation Vita material. The magazine covers PlayStation lifestyle, as well all aspects of High Definition media in lesser detail.
Official UK PlayStation Magazine
Issue 108 (March 2004) - The final edition of Official UK PlayStation Magazine, with Lara Croft on the cover.
|Editor-in-Chief||Steve Jarratt (issue 1 to 7)
Rob Pegley (issue 8 to 42)
Mike Goldsmith (issue 43 to 63)
Mark Donald (issue 64 to 76)
Richard Keith (issue 77 to 97)
Ryan Butt (issue 98 to 108)
|Frequency||12 issues a year (later increased to 13)|
|Publisher||Future Publishing UK|
|First issue||November 1995|
The Official UK PlayStation Magazine is a now-defunct magazine, launched in November 1995 to coincide with the launch of the PlayStation console. It ran for 108 issues, with the last hitting news stands in March 2004. The first issue sold 37,000 copies. Roughly midway through its run the abbreviations in the magazine changed from PSM to OPM (this was mainly because another magazine by the name of PSM2 was launched in the 4th quarter of 2000, and so as not to cause confusion, the abbreviations of the official mag were changed to OPM). It had 3 design changes in its lifetime: 1 to 51, 52 to 72, and finally 73 to 108.
Under the guidance of Rob Pegley, the magazine had a no nonsense attitude to pre-agreed scores in exchange for cover exclusives or compromising of editorial judgment for the sake of a first look and made a habit of 'nailing' other publications for such acts. The first game to be reviewed was Wipeout, which received 8/10. The last game to be reviewed was Ford Truck Mania, which garnered 7/10.
The magazine would go on to become not only the best selling PlayStation magazine in the United Kingdom, but the best selling videogames magazine in the world. By mid-1997, PSM was selling over 150,000 issues a month. In the month of February 1999, issue 42 (cover game: Metal Gear Solid), according to ABC the magazine managed a record 453,571, beating the UK's biggest lads magazines FHM, Maxim and Loaded.
Official UK PlayStation 2 Magazine
Tim Clark (issue 56 to 76)
George Walter (acting ed) (issue 77 to 78)
Nick Ellis (issue 79 to 94)
Andy Hartup (issue 95 to 100)
|Frequency||13 issues a year|
|Publisher||Future Publishing UK|
|First issue||November 2000|
Official UK PlayStation 2 Magazine (often abbreviated to OPS2) was launched in November 2000 as the sequel publication to the Official UK PlayStation Magazine, originally priced £4.99, to coincide with the launch of the PlayStation 2 console. Each month the magazine came with a cover mounted playable demo DVD. It ran for 100 issues, with the last going on sale in the month of June, 2008. The magazine was commonly abbreviated OPS2. It had four design changes in its lifetime: 1 to 25, 26 to 41, 42 to 89, and finally 90 to 100.
The first game to be reviewed was Tekken Tag Tournament, which received 8/10. The last game to be reviewed was SBK-08: Superbike World Championship, which earned 7/10. The magazine would go on to become the UK's best selling PlayStation 2 magazine, peaking with 197,348 readers in 2002.
In the beginning OPS2 was designed for the early adopter - encompassing hardcore gamers and previous readers crossing over from the original Official UK PlayStation Magazine. This ran from issue 1 (November 2000) to 25 (November 2002). Starting from issue 26, the magazine was set the task of attracting a more mass market, mainstream audience. This included a full redesign. From issue 34, OPS2 changed again - however this time retaining its recent redesign. In a drastic attempt to attract a more young male demographic - similar to that of the independent PlayStation magazines of the 90's - the publication decided to review readers girlfriends and their mothers; increase the babe count, even to the point of including bare breasts. It received a mixed response from readers, and failed to considerably increase the readership. In turn, the magazine featured another redesign from issue 42. OPS2 would retain this middle ground for the next three years, neither employing an overly male nor hardcore adult gamer stance. In the final year, as the PlayStation 2 entered a more family friendly stage, OPS2 changed once more; this time for its final time. Starting from issue 90 the magazine would focus on new PS2 owners and the younger gamer.
- In 2004, OPSM2 won the prestigious Industry Dinner Magazine of the Year Award.
- In 2004, OPSM2 publication won MCV's Magazine Team of the Year Award.
- In 1998 and 1999, OPSM won the prestigious Industry Dinner Magazine of the Year Award.
The magazine's design follows the same approximate structure each issue. Recurring segments include:
- The Big 10, in which the ten most momentous PlayStation-related pieces of news are discussed.
- Agenda, which contains the game sales charts for all three major PlayStation platforms as well as a Personal column and regulars like Culture, where PlayStation super fans show off their art, models and tributes. It also shows off the latest Sony gadgets (mainly phones and cameras) as well as "Lust have kit".
- Previews and reviews sections.
- Blu-ray movies section in which the latest Blu-ray releases are reviewed.
- Contact, in which letters and emails from readers are shown and replied to, this section also includes a corner dedicated to "what's on my hard drive" where people talk about what games, videos, music, photos and friends are on their PS3 and several wall posts from the Official PlayStation Magazine UK Facebook page.
- Directory, which houses a "Buyer's Guide" for games for the main platforms as well as for HDTVs.
From issues #1 to #51, the magazine followed a set format every month:
- StartUp (featuring a quick run through of the games featured on the cover disc and editor's letter)
- Update (news, interviews and first looks. With each page, a 'Loading Bar' percentage increased)
- PrePlay (previews)
- Letters (this was later moved to the back of the magazine in a section called 'Down Loading')
- PlayTest (reviews)
- Cheats (later called 'Top Secret', a special section which was printed on recycled paper)
- Down Loading
- On the CD (demo game controls)
- Next Month
- Spy (news and the latest announcements)
- Monitor (previews, as voted for by the readers)
- Next Month
- Replay (looking at previously reviewed titles, review A to Z, cheats)
- Comedown (DVD and Music reviews)
- On the Disc
Each month the publication comes with a cover mounted playable demo disc - a first for a console magazine. The disc contains game demos and other PlayStation-related content which have to be downloaded installed onto the PS3's hard drive.
Although some of the demos are also available on the PlayStation Network, there will be some exclusive content on certain discs. It has also been stated that the magazine will receive exclusive content in the future to be published on the disc.
Usually, one member of the team is assigned to review a certain new game, although on occasion other staff members will provide "2up" or a second opinion. Sometimes there are also pie charts to describe the contents, or what you do in the game. Also used are score poles to compare reviews, as well as describing the influences. And as with the "2up" segment, there is a "dev talk" article giving a short statement from the games developer. Reviews are scored out of ten.
The magazine also presents its "highest accolade", the Gold Award, to any game that its staff believe "demonstrates significant innovation, near-flawless gameplay, great graphics and long-lasting appeal." Games do not necessarily have to have a perfect 10 out of 10 score to receive it; those that have received this award include FIFA 09, FIFA 11, Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, Mirror's Edge, Grand Theft Auto IV, Warhawk, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Siren: Blood Curse, Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, Soulcalibur IV, LittleBigPlanet, Resistance 2, Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction, Ratchet & Clank: A Crack in Time, Infamous, BioShock, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, Killzone 2, Assassin's Creed II, Heavy Rain, and Red Dead Redemption for the PlayStation 3; Tomb Raider: Anniversary for the PlayStation 2; and God of War: Chains of Olympus and Final Fantasy Tactics: The War of the Lions for the PlayStation Portable.
As of Issue 73, the team listed on the magazine's first double page consists of:
- Ben Wilson - Editor*
- Joel Gregory - Deputy editor
- Helen Woodey - Contributing ops Editor
- Steve Gallagher - Art editor
- Andrew Leung - Deputy Art editor
- Emma Davies - Production editor
- Leon Hurley - Associate editor (Web)*
- Phil Iwaniuk - Staff writer
*Denotes staff members who used to be part of Official PlayStation 2 Magazine UK.
Top Ten Readers Poll
In issue 50, the magazine published the results of the readers poll on the greatest PlayStation title ever released.
Desert Island Games
In the final issue, the magazine published their list of the official top 10 PlayStation games of all time.
- Official website
- Interactive Sample of Magazine
- Official UK PlayStation Magazine, issue 42, Future Publishing, February 1999
- Official UK PlayStation Magazine, issue 65, Future Publishing, December 2000
- The first MGS4 review.
- Official UK PlayStation Magazine issue 50, Future Publishing, October 2010
- Official UK PlayStation Magazine issue 108, Future Publishing, March 2004