In the past I’ve stopped just short of welcoming the passing of print gaming magazines, demanding they go digital in order to regain my attention, but the latest closure hit me deep.
Nintendo Power was the first gaming magazine I ever subscribed to, my first real constant source of gaming news, and probably the reason I’m even interested in games coverage today. The magazine is what ultimately led me to my current professional field of interest.
My 15+ year subscription to NP actually ended a couple years back or so shortly after I missed Future Publishing’s renew notifications. While I didn’t have much material use for the magazine anymore, I never felt that it had lost its value. It was the bedrock for around a decade of my Nintendo fanboyism, and its closure is to me the ultimate signal of the end of an era in games coverage.
Right from the beginning my NP subscription went hand in hand with my Nintendo fandom right after buying an N64. It was the first time I had ever become interested in what was actually happening in the games industry as a whole, especially Nintendo at the time. This was still a year or two before the internet became the main stage in gaming news, so NP was actually my main place to go for release dates and information on new games. I remember opening up my first issue and towards the back seeing the first images of “Zelda 64”. Up until that point I had never wanted any game more than that one.
Yeah most of the magazine was thinly veiled Nintendo marketing, but back then I saw it as an oasis from what felt like overwhelming anti-Nintendo bias from other publications. It was my only gaming magazine subscription for a very long time.
I remember when a huge part of the magazine was actually mini strategy guides for games. How many current magazines even do that anymore? NP probably helped me get through at least half my N64 library.
A lot of people still don’t know about the reboot the magazine underwent in 2005 where it became a much more legit publication. With a new visual style, their reviews and especially previews definitely went up a notch, and their eventual transfer to Future Publishing from Nintendo added some much-needed credibility. Ironically this was when I needed the magazine less, but respected it more.
As with magazines in general though, I would’ve probably stayed much more interested if they’d started a digital edition. I don’t want magazines to go away – far from it. I think we still need the monthly edition format – it gives time for real thick stories to develop into something you can’t get into today’s headline-driven internet world. I just think we need periodical editions in a digital format. PlayStation just announced they were doing this, and I think Official Xbox Magazine is doing it too along with others. It looks like Nintendo – not allowing Future to publish a digital edition, is the odd man out once again.
I actually kinda had fantasies about Nintendo holding out so they could have you reading NP on your Wii U GamePad while playing a game, or offering it in some other digital format direction from the Wii U and 3DS eShop. Maybe they think Nintendo Direct and their other previews are enough.
Whatever the reason, for me at least, print media is on its way out. The format should definitely survive, but in a way that might save some trees.
- Cliff Blezinski perfectly sums up my thoughts: http://kotaku.com/5936841/
- This game called Chilvalry has gone from “not even on my radar” to “one of my most anticipating fall games”: http://t.co/J77HJar8 It’s basically an online medieval combat game, based on a 2007 Source mod. I like how it tries to depict medieval battles with at least some air of authenticity instead of what most fantasy RPGs and melee action games do these days.
- I’d written off Sony’s Wonderbook until now: http://t.co/K29zP86j One of the books being made for it looks like a noir story… about a private detective framed for the murder of Humpty Dumpty.