Future announces UK PSN mag, FirstPlay

Monday, 15th February 2010 08:01 GMT By Johnny Cullen


Future Publishing has announced FirstPlay, an interactive magazine for the PlayStation Network in a similar vein America’s Qore.

Weekly episodes will be available to buy at £8.99 on a three-month sub or 99p per episode.

It’ll start to roll out from next month. No exact date was provided.

“Future has an outstanding track record in producing content for gamers that is informed, impartial, relevant and with the right production values, so we see them as a natural partner to work with as we move to on-console media development,” said SCE UK boss Ray Maguire.

“FirstPlay is a ground breaking development, not just for gamers, but for the media industry, and we are delighted to be partnering with Sony on this pioneering project,” added Rob Price, Chief Execuitve of Future.

Find an intro video below and on Firstplay’s website. PR is below.

*Future and Sony reveal FirstPlay */Europe’s first on-console, interactive show available in HD directly through PlayStation®3/

15/02/10 – Future, the special-interest media group, and Sony Computer Entertainment Europe (SCEE) have today announced the launch of FirstPlay – Europe’s first HD interactive show/ /for gamers, available exclusively through Sony’s PlayStation®3 (PS3™) consoles connected to its fast growing PlayStation Network (PSN™).

The weekly FirstPlay episodes will be available to UK gamers from March and will roll out across selected European and other PAL territories later in 2010. FirstPlay promises PS3 gamers HD reviews and previews of the latest games and exclusive access to downloadable content.

FirstPlay’s bespoke content is being created by a hand-picked team of TV and gaming veterans with the reviews and previews coming from the team behind the respected Official PlayStation Magazine team.

PS3 registered users will be able to buy a three month subscription at £8.99 or purchase single episodes for 99p.

Featuring just six premium video advertising slots per episode, FirstPlay will enable advertisers to target an engaged audience of gamers with HD video advertising slots, directly through their PlayStation 3. FirstPlay delivers the impact of TV along with the transparency of the web with total user views and other key user data available as well as click throughs to deep web links and to the PSN Store.
With over 3m PSN accounts in the UK, Sony sees the network as an increasingly important way of adding value for its growing audience of gamers. Recent statistics from the BBC suggest that the PS3 is now responsible for 8% of iPlayer traffic, while the Vidzone streaming music video player became the world’s largest, delivering over 200m videos to users in its first six months. FirstPlay brings to PSN compelling, games-focussed editorialised content that will enable users to get more from the PS3’s range of entertainment services.

The launch of FirstPlay marks the next phase in a long-standing and creative publishing partnership between SCEE and Future, which began in 1995 with one Official magazine and today operates on both sides of the Atlantic with a portfolio of print titles and digital content. Future introduced the first ever cover-mounted playable console disc on the Official PlayStation Magazine in 1995.

Ray Maguire, Senior Vice President of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Managing Director of Sony Computer Entertainment UK said: *
*”As PlayStation 3 moves the gaming experience to a more social and competitive online environment through the PlayStation Network, so it becomes critical that we’re offering gamers the very best content and services through this channel. FirstPlay is a great example of this. Future has an outstanding track record in producing content for gamers that is informed, impartial, relevant and with the right production values, so we see them as a natural partner to work with as we move to on-console media development.”

Robert Price, Chief Executive of Future UK added:

“FirstPlay is a ground breaking development, not just for gamers, but for the media industry, and we are delighted to be partnering with Sony on this pioneering project. On-console delivery is an exciting next step in Future’s strategy of providing high quality content for readers and integrated media solutions for advertisers. We believe that we’ve created a product that will appeal to gamers in a uniquely effective and targeted way.

A trailer for FirstPlay is available now at



  1. KAP

    “a three month subscription at £8.99″ … Hmmmmm

    #1 5 years ago
  2. JPickford


    Pay to be advertised at.

    #2 5 years ago
  3. DrDamn

    Isn’t that what any magazine is?

    Be interesting to see what the exclusive DLC ends up being – Qore does things like “early” access to big demos doesn’t it? Also interested to see how independent things like reviews end up.

    #3 5 years ago
  4. OrphanageExplosion

    Weekly? Future are desperate. Of course, we’ll need to subscribe to get all the playable demos, won’t we?

    I heard Tim Clark is heading this up, and he’s the last best editor Future have/had in print journalism, so there is at least some hope that this will be worthwhile. But… HD reviews, HD previews… the internet does that already.

    My question is – if this isn’t simply an attempt to get us to pay for downloadable demos – what actually is it attempting to do that the internet isn’t doing for free already?

    #4 5 years ago
  5. Blerk

    It’s a little difficult to imagine why people pay for stuff like this when there’s any number of interweb sites providing the same sort of thing for nothing.

    Edit: Yay! :-D

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Patrick Garratt

    Fucking good luck to them. I’d love to be able to charge you lot for this. Say, 10p a day? You’d all pay that? Yeah?

    #6 5 years ago
  7. Gekidami

    You could say the same about any paper publication; Why would i want to buy a monthly issue of a mag when i’ve got minute by minute news on the internet for ‘free’?

    In the end it’ll really come down to what type of goodies they give more then anything. Though i’d imagine it’ll be hard for them to find decent stuff for every episode being weekly.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Blerk

    Will you take an IOU?

    #8 5 years ago
  9. Patrick Garratt

    You’d only have to input your card details once, Blerk! We’d handle everything from there on in.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Blerk

    From the Bahamas, yes? :-D

    #10 5 years ago
  11. Patrick Garratt

    Me, tomorrow.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. Robo_1

    I don’t know what sort of market this has really. I buy print based magazines so that I can have something to read on the bus or on the loo, when I fire up my PS3, it’s to play games or watch films not to sit watch an infomercial, something I get more than enough of on the internet… for free.

    I do hope it doesn’t result in a gimping of demo releases though, Beta’s I can understand but demo’s I’d be a little sore at.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Grimrita

    You know Pat, I would! Personally, if I like a place I socialise in, I dont mind paying a little towards it. I play BF2142 alot and donate money a month toward the server costs.

    Sure, there are lots of free servers out there, but for me, I get great value and even in these hard times, I dont mind shelling out a few quid.

    But paying for a Future Magazine? Only when it becomes cheaper than toilet roll to do so

    #13 5 years ago
  14. Dannybuoy

    £8.99 for 3 months sounds like a bit of a bargain to me

    #14 5 years ago
  15. mington

    so this would only be accessible through the ps3?

    no dice

    #15 5 years ago
  16. Patrick Garratt

    @13 That’s good to know :D

    God knows if we’d ever do it, though. I think Mr Murdoch’s assertion that the free internet’s going to be over “soon” is a tad premature.

    #16 5 years ago
  17. Michael O’Connor

    People just expect businesses to grow money from trees nowadays. Don’t complain when those magazines you “enjoy reading on the toilet” stop being published because people weren’t willing to support the businesses making them.

    At only £8.99 for three *months* of weekly content, people have absolutely no valid reasons to whinge about the price.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. Psychotext

    LMAO… so apparently this was the World Exclusive Announcement we were to expect today.

    Not even a game ffs.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. Grimrita

    @ Michael – that is so true. If I like it, I have no problem supporting it – otherwise, you will wake up one day saying ‘they closed? oh man, I used to love reading that…’

    But I personally wouldnt pay for any magazine from future. But say if this place started to charge and had more features like that one on RTS games (which, could have been a bit better in my grim view :-p ) I wouldnt mind paying for it.

    I think the waters need to be tested but I think for the current generation of internet users, they are SO used to free content and having everything at the click of a button for free.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. Michael O’Connor

    “I think for the current generation of internet users, they are SO used to free content and having everything at the click of a button for free.”

    Pretty much. People are spoilt.


    #20 5 years ago
  21. WizardWeb

    So by subscribing every quarter you get about 1/4 off the weekly price. OPM is £5.99 a month and most people only got that for the dvd & demos anyway, so you save £9 by not having a paper mag. So this is a cheaper way of getting the same thing if that’s what you want.

    If it works like Qore in the US and just has a few exclusive demos, then that’s ok, but it’ll be a wrong un if all demos are only available this way.

    Sony would get a lot of data out of it. They can examine the number of people that download a demo; % of people that try the demo, then buy the game; how many times they play the demo. But all of that they can get anyway from PSN. Future will get an idea of what features people are watching, which they can’t get from traditional mags.

    But I think as has been pointed out, the difficulty is that reviews and previews are available on the net for free. I know Murdoch is making all his sites subscribe only, but so long as someone is doing it for free, somewhere, then the so-called “Pay-wall” business model won’t work. It’s trying to apply old values to new technology. They only worked before because the technology didn’t change for centuries. Now the net has increased the rate of change.

    #21 5 years ago
  22. OrphanageExplosion

    Anything decent in terms of footage will end up on YouTube any way, within the day. Future needs to come with new and involving ways of presenting game news and content that make the most of the multimedia facilities of the PS3. Looking at the site, where it seems to be magazine reviews read-out over HD video, it has failed to do so.

    #22 5 years ago
  23. SunKing

    For every publication attempting to charge for their content, there’s another ten websites that offer it for free. That, unfortunately, is the reality.

    #23 5 years ago
  24. Eregol

    99p per episode?
    I’d hazard a guess this must be weekly to justify an £8.99 outlay for a 3 month sub.

    Only possibility I can see.

    #24 5 years ago
  25. SunKing

    Also, I don’t think we should blame consumers for making wholly rational purchasing decisions. If I see the same content being given away freely then I’m going to go with that, as will, I imagine, most people.

    It is not the responsibility of the consumer to make sure a business stays profitable. Businesses are not charities.

    #25 5 years ago
  26. pha1r

    Does anybody even remember this being annonced at Leipzig by David Reeves a few years back.
    It was meant to be out a while ago as OPM HD.

    #26 5 years ago
  27. onlineatron

    If they were provide exclusive beta access, themes, free dlc, avatars, interviews etc…

    Then it will be worth it.

    But for now… it’s a ‘Wait and see’.

    Also, is this a separate download each week or will the front end just be updated?

    #27 5 years ago
  28. onlineatron


    Yeah, I signed up for email notifications relating it that [OPMH] and ironically… still have received nothing!

    #28 5 years ago
  29. justiceblob

    OPM had an ad in their own mag about a year ago about it.

    #29 5 years ago
  30. Eregol

    @Onlineatron’s 27 post
    That’s the most sensible thing to do with this service.
    No point making judgements until we know what will be included in these.

    Early access to demos and DLC, not to mention free wallpapers and themes would make it worthwhile, until we have more we don’t know what this will be like.

    It’s most likely this is Sony’s subs service they’ve been going on about for ages.

    #30 5 years ago
  31. Gheritt White

    Isn’t this just like the Inside_Xbox channel on Xbox LIVE but for PSN? Makes sense to me – the PS3 needed a proper magazine show on its tubes.

    #31 5 years ago
  32. justiceblob

    I hope it is like inside XBOX, I think MS handled that really weel and it is aimed at a sensible market, while not being to derogatory to hardcore and casual gamers. its a nice mix, which I always check for when that green light comes on.

    #32 5 years ago
  33. zoopdeloop

    @18 Kind of expected it wasn’t gonna be something huge despite from the overexaggerating news title they put on it

    #33 5 years ago
  34. OrphanageExplosion

    No, this isn’t anything to do with Sony’s own subscription services… it’s most likely part of Future’s renegotiation of the official PlayStation license which has far less value to them since demos became downloads.

    #34 5 years ago

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