Magazine ABCs Jan-June 2006: Computing

The fortunes of the console magazine market ebb and flow according to activity in the industry, which is in the middle of a fallow period. This has led to hugely disappointing sales.

As PlayStation2 moves into its twilight years, the market-leading title, Official PlayStation2, published by Future, lost a quarter of its circulation.

Despite the launch of the Xbox 360 console Official UK Xbox Magazine fared badly, with circulation falling by 52.4 per cent to 40,497 copies. The only title immune to the trend was Edge, a multiformat title, which boosted circulation by 8.1 per cent to 33,597.

However, Future is gearing up for a busy end to the year with the launch of the PlayStation3 and Nintendo's Wii.

Magazines aimed at PC owners performed more strongly, reflecting the nature of the PC market, which is not as dependent on new launches. PC Gamer reported a circulation slide of 6.3 per cent to 45,295 year on year.

Verdict The imminent launch of new video games consoles from Sony and Nintendo will give the market a much-needed boost. With two major product launches in the pipeline and two new titles from Future Publishing set to grow the market, sales should pick up.

TITLE PUBLISHER Total ABC Period-on Year-on
-period -year
% chg % chg
Official PlayStation2 Future 100,117 -24.2 -24.9
Gamesmaster Future 53,360 -3.9 -3.7
PC Gamer Future 45,295 -7.0 -6.3
Official Xbox 360 Magazine Future 42,680 n/a n/a
Official UK Xbox Magazine Future 40,497 -37.1 -52.4
PSM 2 Future 35,993 -11.0 -20.5
Official Nintendo Magazine Future 35,569 n/a n/a
PlayStation World Future 34,479 -21.1 -31.9
Edge Future 33,597 0.2 8.1
Playstation2 Special Edition Future 33,274 4.4 n/a
Source Audit Bureau of Circulations, January-June 2006.