PSM, 100% Independent PlayStation 2 Magazine is a monthly magazine devoted to Sony consoles and games. It is the only PlayStation-specific magazine in the US apart from Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, the oldest currently in production (by a month), and also the one with the highest circulation.
Future Publishing also produces magazines in several European countries titled PSM (the UK edition is currently called PSM2). While the magazines occasionally share similar visual designs, they all have different editorial teams and do not share any editorial content.
PSM was the final major magazine launch by Imagine Publishing, the original name of Future’s US division. It followed after Ultra Game Players, PC Gamer, Next Generation, and the online Imagine Games Network, and like these magazines, PSM borrowed a great deal of its design from Future’s British mag stable, ensuring a unique look for the US market. Much of the original staff (including editor-in-chief Chris Slate, the longest-tenured game-mag EIC currently in the industry) jumped over from the original Game Players, and many more joined the staff once Ultra Game Players ran its course.
For its first year or so, PSM was marketed towards a relatively young audience in order to compete for GamePro’s share of the marketplace. Issues came packed with disc-tray or memory-card stickers, screenshot captions were mostly humorous, and the covers were all original creations by comic-book artists with official company art only rarely used. However, as the PlayStation’s audience proved to skew older than those of other game systems, PSM began to slant more hardcore in its coverage, although its Brit-mag design and flippant captions are still in full force today. (Imagine made one more attempt at the children’s audience with PS Max in 1999, but that went nowhere fast.)
PSM’s average paid circulation in 2005 was 312,215. Its readership has surpassed OPM’s for most of the decade in the US, despite its “unofficial” status.