Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine (usually abbreviated to OPM) is a monthly magazine devoted to entirely to Sony game platforms, including the PlayStation, PlayStation 2 and PSP systems. Reflecting the magazine’s mature and hardcore readership, the magazine also features coverage on new technology and classic nerd pursuits, including anime.
On November 14, 2006, Ziff Davis announced that the U.S. OPM would close with its January 2007 issue.
Despite its position in the marketplace, Sony’s PlayStation did not have an official magazine in the U.S. until two years after it debuted in the region. In its place, there were two unofficial magazines covering the PS exclusively: Sendai’s P.S.X., and Dimension Publishing’s PSExtreme (originally titled Dimension P.S.X.).
Over in the UK, meanwhile, Future Publishing signed an agreement with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe in 1995 to publish the Official PlayStation Magazine across the European continent, beginning with the UK edition in November 1995. This magazine included a Sony-sanctioned demo disc from the very first issue, and the UK edition was the highest-selling magazine in the country for nearly half a decade, only being supplanted by its successor, the Official UK PlayStation 2 Magazine. (The PS1-oriented OPM continued independently of the PS2 mag in the UK, running for over eight years until its final issue in March 2004.)
In 1997, Sony Computer Entertainment America saw Future’s success with OPM in the UK and decided to sanction a similar magazine for the US marketplace. Curiously, Future’s US division (still called Imagine Publishing at the time) was not awarded the rights to publish the magazine; instead, the honor went to Ziff Davis Media, which had made P.S.X. a monthly magazine in 1997. (Imagine launched its own unofficial PlayStation magazine PSM a month before OPM debuted in the US.)
OPM’s main sell is the disc included with each issue, which includes game demos, preview movies, and other bits of game coverage. This disc was made for the PlayStation 1 at first; the first PlayStation 2 demo disc debuted with issue 49 in October 2001. The magazine then alternated between PS1 and PS2 discs for the next half-year; issue 54 (March 2002) was the last one with a PS1 disc included.
Since OPM’s newsstand sales traditionally live and die by the content of this disc, OPM’s editors have more leeway on the cover design and internals of their magazine, giving it a sleek, avant-garde design unique among Ziff publications. Despite the disc, however, OPM’s circulation has always lagged behind the lower-price PSM.
OPM’s average paid circulation for the period between January-June 2006 was 252,267.