The cover of the January '95 issue of Next Generation.
|First issue||January 1995|
Volume 4, No. 13
Next Generation (also known as NextGen) was a video game magazine that was published by Imagine Media (now Future US).It was affiliated to and shared editorial with the UK's Edge magazine. Next Generation ran from January 1995 until January 2002. It was published by Jonathan Simpson-Bint and edited by Neil West. Other editors included Chris Charla, Tom Russo, and Blake Fischer.
Video game journalism is a branch of journalism concerned with the reporting and discussion of video games, typically based on a core "reveal–preview–review" cycle. There has been recent growth in online publications and blogs.
Future US, Inc. is an American media corporation specializing in targeted magazines and websites in the video games, music, and technology markets. Future US is headquartered in New York City with small offices in Alexandra and Minneapolis. Future US is owned by parent company, Future plc, a specialist media company based in the United Kingdom.
Edge is a multi-format video game magazine published by Future plc in the United Kingdom, which publishes 13 issues of the magazine per year.
Next Generation initially covered the 32-bit consoles including 3DO, Atari Jaguar, and the then-still unreleased Sony Playstation and Sega Saturn. Unlike competitors GamePro and Electronic Gaming Monthly , the magazine was directed towards a different readership by focusing on the industry itself rather than individual games.
The 3DO Interactive Multiplayer, often called the 3DO, is a home video game console platform developed by The 3DO Company. Conceived by entrepreneur and Electronic Arts founder Trip Hawkins, the 3DO was not a console manufactured by the company itself, but a series of specifications, originally designed by Dave Needle and R. J. Mical of New Technologies Group, that could be licensed by third parties. Panasonic produced the first models in 1993, and further renditions of the hardware were released in 1994 by GoldStar and in 1995 by Sanyo.
The Atari Jaguar is a home video game console that was developed by Atari Corporation. The console is the sixth programmable console to be developed under the Atari brand, originally released in North America in November 1993. It is also the last Atari console to use physical media. Controversially, Atari marketed the Jaguar as being the first 64-bit video game console, while competing with the existing 16-bit consoles and the 32-bit 3DO Interactive Multiplayer platform.
The Sega Saturn is a 32-bit fifth-generation home video game console developed by Sega and released on November 22, 1994 in Japan, May 11, 1995 in North America, and July 8, 1995 in Europe. The successor to the successful Sega Genesis, the Saturn has a dual-CPU architecture and eight processors. Its games are in CD-ROM format, and its game library contains several arcade ports as well as original games.
The magazine was first published by GP Publications up until May 1995 when the publisher was acquired by Imagine Media.
In September 1999, Next Generation was redesigned, its cover name shortened to simply NextGen. This would start what was known as "Lifecycle 2" of the magazine.[ citation needed ] A year later, in September 2000, the magazine's width was increased from its standard 8 inches to 9 inches, however this wider format lasted less than a year. Subscribers of Next-Gen Magazine received issues of PlayStation Magazine when the magazine's life-cycle was terminated.
The brand was resurrected in 2005 by Future Publishing USA as an industry-led website, Next-Gen.biz. It carries much the same articles and editorial as the print magazine, and in fact reprints many articles from Edge, the UK-based sister magazine to Next-Gen. In July 2008, Next-Gen.biz was rebranded as Edge-Online.com.
Future plc is a British media company founded in 1985. It publishes more than 50 magazines in fields such as video games, technology, films, music, photography, home and knowledge. It is a constituent of the FTSE Fledgling Index. The company also owns the US company Future US.
Next Generation's content didn't focus on screenshots, walkthroughs, and cheat codes. Instead the content was more focused on game development from an artistic perspective. Interviews with people in the game industry often featured questions about gaming in general rather than about the details of the latest game or game system they were working on.
Strategy guides are instruction books that contain hints or complete solutions to specific video games. The line between strategy guides and walkthroughs is somewhat blurred, with the former often containing or being written around the latter. Strategy guides are often published in print, both in book form and also as articles within video game magazines. In cases of exceptionally popular game titles, guides may be sold through more mainstream publication channels, such as bookstores or even newsstands. Some publishers also sell E-Book versions on their websites.
The video game industry is the economic sector involved in the development, marketing, and monetization of video games. It encompasses dozens of job disciplines and its component parts employ thousands of people worldwide.
A video game console is a computer device that outputs a video signal or visual image to display a video game that one or more people can play.
Next Generation was first published prior to the North American launch of the Sega Saturn and Sony PlayStation, and much of the early content was in anticipation of those consoles.
Apart from the regular columns, the magazine did not use bylines. The editors explained that they felt the magazine's entire staff should share the credit or responsibility for each article and review, even those written by individuals.
The review ranking system was based on a number of stars (1 through 5) that ranked games based on their merits overall compared to what games were already out there.
Next Generation had a few editorial sections like "The Way Games Ought To Be" (originally written every month by game designer Chris Crawford) that would attempt to provide constructive criticism on standard practices in the video game industry.
The magazine's construction and design was decidedly simple and clean, its back cover having no advertising on it initially, a departure from most other gaming magazines. The first several years of Next Generation had a heavy matte laminated finish cover stock, unlike the glossy paper covers of its competitors. The magazine moved away from this cover style in early 1999, only for it to return again in late 2000.
|Lifecycle 1||Lifecycle 2|
Nights into Dreams... is a 1996 action game developed by Sonic Team and published by Sega for the Sega Saturn. The story follows teenagers Claris and Elliot, who enter Nightopia, a dream world where all dreams take place. With the help of Nights, an exiled "Nightmaren", they begin a journey to stop the evil ruler Wizeman from destroying Nightopia and consequently the real world. Players control Nights flying through Claris and Elliot's dreams to gather enough energy to defeat Wizeman and save Nightopia. The game is presented in 3D and imposes time limits on every level, in which the player must accumulate points to proceed.
The Nintendo 64 (N64), stylized as NINTENDO64, is a home video game console developed and marketed by Nintendo. Named for its 64-bit central processing unit, it was released in June 1996 in Japan, September 1996 in North America and Brazil, March 1997 in Europe and Australia, and September 1997 in France. It was the last major home console to use the cartridge as its primary storage format until the Nintendo Switch in 2017. The Nintendo 64 was discontinued in mid-2002 following the launch of its successor, the GameCube, in 2001.
The PlayStation is a home video game console developed and marketed by Sony Computer Entertainment. It was first released on 3 December 1994 in Japan, on 9 September 1995 in North America, on 29 September 1995 in Europe, and on 15 November 1995 in Australia, and was the first of the PlayStation lineup of video game consoles. As a fifth generation console, the PlayStation primarily competed with the Nintendo 64 and the Sega Saturn.
The fifth-generation era refers to computer and video games, video game consoles, and handheld gaming consoles dating from approximately 1993 to 2002. For home consoles, the best-selling console was the PlayStation (PS) by a wide margin, followed by the Nintendo 64 (N64), and then the Sega Saturn. The PlayStation also had a redesigned version, the PSOne, which was launched in July 2000.
Sega Rally Championship is a 1994 racing video game developed and published by Sega, Originally released for arcades using the Sega Model 2 board, it was ported over to the Sega Saturn in 1995 and Microsoft Windows in 1997. The unique selling point of Sega Rally Championship was the ability to drive on different surfaces, with different friction properties, with the car's handling changing accordingly. As the first racing game to incorporate this feature, Sega Rally Championship is considered to be one of the milestones in the evolution of the racing game genre. It was also an early rally racing game and featured cooperative gameplay alongside the usual competitive multiplayer.
Daytona USA is a racing video game developed by Sega AM2 and released by Sega, with a limited release in 1993 followed by a full release in 1994. One of the highest grossing arcade games of all time, Daytona USA was Sega's first title to debut on the Sega Model 2 arcade board, and, at the time of its release, was considered the most visually detailed 3D racing game. Compared to the flat-shaded polygons of its predecessor, Virtua Racing, Daytona's 3D-world was fully texture-mapped, giving it a more realistic appearance. Daytona was one of the first video games to feature filtered, texture-mapped polygons, giving it the most detailed graphics yet seen in a video game up until that time. In single-player mode, Daytona maintained a consistent 60 fps rate, even with multiple opponents on screen, surpassing the motion smoothness of the only other racing game in a comparable graphical arena, Namco's Ridge Racer.
Sega Net Link is an attachment for the Sega Saturn game console to provide Saturn users with internet access and access to email through their console. The unit was released in October 1996. The Sega Net Link fit into the Sega Saturn cartridge port and consisted of a 28.8 kbit/s modem, a custom chip to allow it to interface with the Saturn, and a browser developed by Planetweb, Inc. The unit sold for US$199, or US$400 bundled with a Sega Saturn.
Wipeout 2097 (stylised wipE'out"2097; released as Wipeout XL in North America) is a futuristic racing game developed and published by Psygnosis. It is the second installment released in the Wipeout series and is the direct sequel of the original game released the previous year. It was originally released in 1996 for the PlayStation and Microsoft Windows, and in 1997 for the Sega Saturn. It was later ported by Digital Images to the Amiga in 1999 and by Coderus to Mac OS in 2002.
Slipstream 5000 is a 3D racing video game developed by The Software Refinery and published by Gremlin Interactive for IBM PC compatible computers in July 1995.
Virtua Fighter 2 is a fighting video game developed by Sega. It is the sequel to Virtua Fighter and the second game in the Virtua Fighter series. It was created by Sega's Yu Suzuki-headed AM2 and was released in the arcade in 1994. It was ported to the Sega Saturn in 1995 and Microsoft Windows in 1997. In 1996, a super deformed version of the game, Virtua Fighter Kids, arrived in arcades and was ported to the Sega Saturn. A 2D remake was released for the Mega Drive/Genesis in 1996. In addition, Virtua Fighter 2 was converted for the PlayStation 2 in 2004 as part of Sega's Ages 2500 series in Japan. The Mega Drive/Genesis port was re-released on the PS2 and PSP in 2006 as part of Sega Genesis Collection, on the Virtual Console for the Wii on March 20, 2007 (Japan) and April 16, 2007, and for iOS on January 20, 2011.
Batman Forever: The Arcade Game is a beat 'em up video game based on the movie Batman Forever. The subtitle is used to differentiate it from Batman Forever, another beat 'em up published by Acclaim at around the same time. One or two players, playing as Batman and Robin, fight Two-Face, the Riddler, and numerous henchmen.
Gungriffon is a series of video games developed by Game Arts and designed by Takeshi Miyaji. Gungriffon and Gungriffon II originally appeared for the Sega Saturn console in 1996, with more recent appearances in Gungriffon Blaze for the PlayStation 2 and Gungriffon: Allied Strike for the Xbox. The Gungriffon games are focused on piloting mecha—large, usually bipedal military vehicles. This game series refers to these machines as Armored Walking Gun Systems (AWGS). With the exception of the High-MACS design, the mecha in this series have a distinctly realistic design philosophy.
Virtua Fighter 3 is the third fighting game in the Virtua Fighter series, developed by Sega AM2 and published by Sega in 1996. It was the first arcade game to run on the Sega Model 3 system board. A port for the Sega Saturn was announced but ultimately cancelled. However, the game eventually reached home consoles in the form of a conversion for the Dreamcast.
Julian "Jaz" Rignall is a publishing veteran with experience launching and managing numerous video game magazines and websites. A writer and editor, Rignall has also produced content for corporate websites such as GamePro Media, publisher of GamePro magazine and GamePro.com, marketing collateral and advertising campaigns.
Paragon Publishing Ltd was a magazine publisher in the UK, which published computer games and other entertainment titles from 1991 to 2003.
Online console gaming involves connecting a console to a network over the Internet for services. Through this connection, it provides users the ability to play games with other users online, in addition to other online services.
The Electronic Entertainment Expo 1995, commonly known as E3 1995, was the first Electronic Entertainment Expo held. The event took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center from May 11-13, 1995, with 50,000 total attendees. Highlights of the 1995 show include Sony's announcement of the PlayStation's release date and pricing, Sega's surprise launch of the Sega Saturn, and Nintendo's showcase of the Virtual Boy console.
The history of Sega, a Japanese multinational video game developer and publisher, spans from 1960 to the present day, with roots back to Standard Games in 1940 and Service Games of Japan in the 1950s. The formation of the company is traced back to the founding of Nihon Goraku Bussan, which became known as Sega Enterprises, Ltd. following acquisition of Rosen Enterprises. Sega began developing coin-operated games in 1966 with Periscope. In 1969 Gulf and Western Industries bought Sega, which continued its successful arcade-game business.