Official Xbox Magazine
|Categories||Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One|
|Circulation||425,000/month (US) and 66,894/month (UK)|
|First issue||November 2001|
|Country||United States of America/United Kingdom/Canada|
Official Xbox Magazine (or OXM for short) is a monthly video game magazine which started in November 2001 around the launch of the original Xbox. A preview issue was released at E3 2001, with another preview issue in November 2001. The magazine was bundled with a disc that included game demos, preview videos and trailers, and other content, such as game or Xbox updates and free gamerpics. The discs also provided the software for the Xbox 360 for backward compatibility of original Xbox games for those without broadband and Xbox Live access. As of January 2012, OXM no longer includes a demo disc.
The magazine features previews, reviews, and cheat codes for Xbox games. On November 22, 2005 the Xbox 360 was released, and the magazine began including Xbox 360 game reviews, previews, and Xbox 360-compatible games on the demo disc. Official Xbox Magazine reviews every Xbox, Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade game, as well as downloadable content and expansion packs.
On the Disc (Discontinued in 2012)
Each issue originally contained a demo disc with both Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade games. However, beginning in January 2012, OXM stopped including demo discs, saying "You've told us you don't want the DVD anymore, and we listened....". Each demo contained unlockable content like gamer pics and hidden demos. There was also a sim-like game called 'OXM Universe'. Gamers play the games on disc and view the videos on the disc to gain points, but only 800 points are needed for the unlockable content. The points have another use in which gamers use their points to research and build equipment for the in-game game 'OXM Universe'. 'OXMU' was discontinued in OXM's 100th issue.
- We Heart Xbox
- In this section, new games which are not yet shown to the mainstream public or user-modified hardware such as consoles or faceplates are shown here.
- Message Center
- Besides showing readers' mail, the OXM crew reveals their 'Top 5' things on their mind at the moment. The 'Top 5' tradition was broke in Issue #85 of July 2008, when the staff instead answered to the question "What's your worst habit - and do you even want to break it?"
- Xbox Next
- In this section, upcoming games are highlighted and previewed.
- In this section, games may get prolonged previews, or OXM may have an exclusive 6-10 page review for a certain game. There may also be special featured content like Issue #77's 'HDTV Buyer's Guide'.
- Xbox Now
- This is the section where every Xbox, Xbox 360, and Xbox Live Arcade game, and downloadable content is reviewed.
- Xbox 365
- This section contains Xbox business articles, gaming news, 'Hard Stuff' (a section that reviews contraptions related to an Xbox console), '2,000 Pennies or Less' (a section that shows the best cheap games that can be bought for either Xbox or Xbox 360), the codes of the month, 'Forza Showroom' (a brief column that shows some of the best Forza Motorsport 2 car designs that people have made), a section for competing against the OXM crew in games like Lost Planet, Halo 3, Gears of War, and more, 'Media Ho!' (a section that talks about movies, books, and other items related to games), 'Live Space' (a section which shows gamers' Xbox Live gamertags, 'Ask Dr. Gamer' (a section in which gamers ask Health doctor, Freddy Chen, gaming related information), and 'The (insert something here) of Xbox' (a section that talks about business and other things of the Xbox gaming world. The column 'The Business of Xbox' was written by Geoff Keighley through the May 2007 issue, but the column is currently written, on a less frequent basis, by Chris Morris. As of Issue #71, the end page rotates columnists, with guests including game creators Tim Schafer, Denis Dyack, and Randy Pitchford.
- Editor in chief: Francesca Reyes
- Executive Editor: Corey Cohen
- Senior Editor: To be determined
- Features Editor: Kevin W Smith
- Managing Editor: Alaina Yee
- Art Director: David Cordon
- Editor in chief: Jon Hicks
- Staff Writer: Jon Blyth
- Online Editor: Edwin Evans-Thirlwell
- Production Editor: Jenny Meade
- Art Editor: Curtis Phillips-Cozier
- Deputy Art Editor: John Finbow
- Production Manager: Scott Gilchrist
- Development: Marc Reading
- Production: Ben Robinson
Until issue #52, the Official Xbox Magazine (OXM) used a 100-point system, scoring games out of 10.0 with .1 increments. The games that received at least a 9.0 were given an Editor's Choice award. Beginning with issue #53 (Holiday 2005), the US OXM switched to a 20-point scoring system, scoring games out of 10.0 with increments of 0.5. The UK edition though switched to a 10-point scoring system, scoring games out of 10. This ratings scale is detailed on the introduction page to every issue's review section. A score of 10.0 is not considered perfect, but is called "Classic" and is considered to be "one of those rare and very best of games." OXM's review scale does include a score of 11.0 (termed "Mecha Godzilla's Choice") as "Perfect," however the description for that score is "The unicorn. Will never happen. Never."
Twenty games have received a 10/10 score from OXM, but only BioShock, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Grand Theft Auto V have been given this score by both the US and UK editions. The nine 10/10 games from the US edition include: Fight Night Round 3, Gears of War, Fallout 3, Halo 3, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Mass Effect, Gears of War 3 and Batman: Arkham City. Whereas the nine 10/10 games from the UK edition include: Grand Theft Auto IV, Project Gotham Racing 4, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Mass Effect 2, Halo: Reach, Portal 2, Deus Ex: Human Revolution and Mass Effect 3.
OXM also has begun reviewing Xbox Live Downloadable Content (DLC), on a three-point scale: Buy, Fanboys Only, and Deny. The exception is The Elder Scrolls IV: Shivering Isles expansion pack in issue 70, which, due to the game's size, being "much more than a simple map pack" was reviewed on the normal 20-point scale, receiving an 8.5 (Great). (The game was later released as an expansion on DVD.)
Some disks have come with additional material for Xbox games. Early issues' demo disk included a costume expansion to Dead or Alive 3 and Easter eggs unlockable via inputting a code via the controller. Some material seen only available for download on Xbox Live was included on demo disks. Currently, most US demo discs include gamer pics centered on a game.
- Issue #53 contained the free exclusive beta for Final Fantasy XI.
- Issue #67 contained the Wizard's Tower and Thieves Den quests for The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
- Issue #69 contained Chapter 2 for Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter.
- Issue #73 contained an exclusive demo for the Japanese RPG Eternal Sonata.
- Issue #74 contained an exclusive demo for Beautiful Katamari.
- Issue #77 contained a special demo for Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock. (The demo is also found in copies of Tony Hawk's Proving Ground.)
- Issue #80 contained the Harmonix Track Pack 01: 3 exclusive songs for the popular video game Rock Band.
- Issue #82 contained the downloadable song Halo Theme MJOLNIR Mix for Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock.
- Issue #46 (UK edition) contained the NXE update for the Xbox 360 dashboard.
- Issue #54 (UK edition) contained a Left 4 Dead 2 Xbox 360 theme.
- Issue #116 contained an Assassin's Creed pamphlet.
- Audio Podcast
KOXM is the weekly Official Xbox Magazine podcast, currently hosted by OXM Senior Editor Dave Rudden. The show was previously hosted by Ryan McCaffrey until he left Official Xbox Magazine to work at IGN. Dan Amrich used to be a McCaffrey's co-host, but he left the magazine and podcast to work at Activision/Blizzard. The audio podcast features a recap in the week's past events and game releases, two trivia contests (Name That Xbox Sound Effect and Stick it to the Dan (formerly Dan's Useless Trivia)) for a prize (usually a tee shirt or Xbox Live Arcade game), and developer interviews. The show was produced by Andy Bauman.
- Video Podcast
The OXM Video Podcast is updated much less frequently, with gaps over a month or more. The video podcast slowed until it was picked up again in the form of Inside Xbox, a short Xbox Live program that OXM became a part of in 2008. The OXM Report on Inside Xbox features similar video content to the original video podcast, but with more timely information on games such as Gears of War 2 and Mirror's Edge It is posted on Xbox Live every other Sunday.
On October 12, 2007, the UK edition was awarded 'Best Xbox Magazine' at the Games Media Awards.
- "Future US: Official Xbox Magazine". Retrieved 2008-04-30.
- "Xbox 360: The Official Xbox Magazine: Print | Future Advertising". Retrieved 2008-04-21.
- "Media stars hailed at the GMAs". MCV. October 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-22.