GGUK take an early look at Future’s new interactive PS3 magazine, FirstPlay.
You know how it is. You want to know all about the latest and upcoming releases on PS3, but you don’t have enough cash for a magazine. The Internet is next on the agenda but, as with everything on the Internet, there is just too much information and finding what you want to know takes more effort than fishing out the loose change from the sofa and buying a magazine. What you really need is some kind of interactive magazine that is available through your PS3. It would also be nice if it were cheap and reasonably frequent, just so you can keep up to date without too much effort. Well, guess what?
Welcome to First Play, the answer to all of your problems. This UK version of Qore, available in the US on PS3, is set to be released weekly across Europe and carries with it a price tag of just 99p. So, will it offer more value for money than a McFlurry?
GGUK have had a chance to check out the beta of this interactive magazine, the first issue of which will be available for download on April 8th. Our first thought, once the code had been entered into our PS3, was slight shock at the 1.1GB size. This was both a concern for those out there with the smaller HDD and a joy at the amount of content that surely must be contained within.
What springs to mind are the coverdiscs found on Official Playstation Magazine, without the playable demos, of course. The layout was clean, straight forward and well polished. But then, seeing as this publication is coming from Future and, more specifically, the guys behind Official Playstation Magazine, this should come as no surprise.
The beta version that we viewed offered four sections to choose from. Network Highlights, Screenshot Gallery, HD Reviews and Previews, and Featured Downloads. The content contained within was of a similarly high quality to the main menu. The review and preview section contained glorious high def videos including, rather strangely, a preview trailer for a movie. Not really sure how that managed to sneak in, but it broadens the interest of the magazine. The screenshot gallery was good, but I found that adding commentary to each screen that was viewed was slightly tiresome. This was probably the weakest of the sections.
The featured downloadsÂ section offer viewers a quick look at a couple of items from the PSN Store that may be of interest. But, in my mind, the star of the show was the network highlights. Within this section, we were able to check out some of the latest, and upcoming games, and saw the rather nice Heavy Rain dynamic theme in action. There was also some coverage about Minis which, in my mind, do not get enough coverage at the moment. The video store round up was nice, if a bit short. Finally, we had the pleasure to watch the SingStar top 10, a delightful collection of people playing SingStar and recording themselves. Entertaining is one word to describe it.
Adding to the spit and polish was a wonderful narration throughout the experience, provided by Lucy Porter, English actress, writer and comedienne. The American Qore magazine offers its subscribers early access to demos and exclusive downloads. This is something First Play are looking into and will be a definite bonus, should it be pulled off.
The whole show kept us entertained for about the same time as an episode of 24, but with less shooting. I am still a little concerned about the file size. However, at 99p for an episode, or Â£8.99 for a quarterly subscription, you certainly get a decent amount of content. Being a weekly release, it will be interesting to see if they can maintain this level of content. But for now, it is an interesting option for those too lazy to use the Internet, or too hard up to buy a magazine.