New cut-price PlayStation title targets children

A monthly title claiming to be the UK’s first pocket-sized PlayStation magazine is due to launch in September.

Station Gamer is hoping to buck the downward trend of the PlayStation sector by targeting 11 to 16-year-olds and refusing to carry a free DVD covermount on the front. Live Publishing is hoping to undercut the competition by giving it a cover price of £2.50. The title claims it will have the lowest price in the market and the biggest pagination, with a total of 196 pages.

Editorial will contain reviews and previews of PlayStation 2 games and an A to Z “cheats and codes” directory. Published in Macclesfield, it will be edited by Matt Martin (ex-Thin Ice Media) and Martyn Carroll, who worked at Live, will be his deputy.

The launch follows a sales slump for the majority of Sony PlayStation titles, revealed in the latest ABC figures. The sector showed a sales decline of 17.6 per cent. PSM2 was down 28.2 per cent, Playstation World slipped 40.2 per cent and Official PlayStation Magazine plummeted 57.3 per cent.

Ian Anderson, marketing manager for Station Gamer, said: “At this moment in time, sales of PS2 are still rising but magazine circulations aren’t matching that trend.

“Circulation figures for playstation titles have declined and from our research, we believe that the DVDs that come with the magazines aren’t what the public are looking for. A lot of them are just video footage when the purpose of games console is to get involved and play the games.” He added: “As the life cycle of console goes on, the price comes down and the demographic of the buyer gets younger because it’s more affordable. We are aiming at the secondary school market with a format that is easy for the kids to slip in their bags,” he said.

Station Gamer will be sold in the Sony sector alongside existing titles such as Official PlayStation 2 Magazine and PSW. The first issue is due out on 11 September.

By Ruth Addicott

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