Next Generation (magazine)

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Next Generation
NextGen Cover 01-95.jpg
The cover of the January '95 issue of Next Generation.
First issueJanuary 1995;23 years ago (1995-01)
Final issue
January 2002 (2002-01)
Volume 4, No. 13
Company Imagine Media
CountryUnited States
ISSN 1078-9693

Next Generation (also known as NextGen) was a video game magazine that was published by Imagine Media (now Future US). [1] 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. [2]

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

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.

<i>Edge</i> (magazine) multi-format computer and video game magazine

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.

3DO Interactive Multiplayer Video game console

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.

Atari Jaguar video game console

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.

Sega Saturn video game console

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.

Publication history

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, 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, was rebranded as [3]

Future plc British media company

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. [4]

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.

Issue history

Lifecycle 1Lifecycle 2
v1 #1 (January 1995) New game consoles
v1 #2 (February 1995) Online gaming
v1 #3 (March 1995) PlayStation
v1 #4 (April 1995) Atari Jaguar
v1 #5 (May 1995) Ultra 64
v1 #6 (June 1995)Crossfire
v1 #7 (July 1995) Wipeout
v1 #8 (August 1995) Sega Saturn TV Commercials
v1 #9 (September 1995) Destruction Derby
v1 #10 (October 1995) Madden NFL '96
v1 #11 (November 1995) Virtua Fighter's Sarah Bryant
v1 #12 (December 1995)32-bit Videogame Report
v2 #13 (January 1996) Ridge Racer Revolution
v2 #14 (February 1996) Ultra 64
v2 #15 (March 1996)Next Generation 1996 Lexicon
v2 #16 (April 1996)How to get a job in the video game industry
v2 #17 (May 1996) Codename: Tenka
v2 #18 (June 1996) Microsoft future for gaming: DirectX
v2 #19 (July 1996)Past, present, and future of online gaming
v2 #20 (August 1996) Super Mario 64
v2 #21 (September 1996)Next Generation's Top 100 Games of All-time
v2 #22 (October 1996) Venture capital in game development
v2 #23 (November 1996) Artificial Life
v2 #24 (December 1996) PlayStation vs Nintendo 64 vs Sega Saturn
v3 #25 (January 1997) Net Yaroze
v3 #26 (February 1997)Videogame Myths
v3 #27 (March 1997)Top 10 online gaming sites
v3 #28 (April 1997) Retrogaming
v3 #29 (May 1997)Something is wrong with the Nintendo 64
v3 #30 (June 1997)Why does a game cost $50
v3 #31 (July 1997)What makes a Good Game
v3 #32 (August 1997) Video game packaging
v3 #33 (September 1997) Design documents
v3 #34 (October 1997)The future of game consoles
v3 #35 (November 1997)25 Breakthrough Games
v3 #36 (December 1997)Independent game developers
v4 #37 (January 1998)The most important people in the American video game industry
v4 #38 (February 1998) hardcore gaming
v4 #39 (March 1998)How to get a job in the game industry
v4 #40 (April 1998) What the Hell Happened?
v4 #41 (May 1998)The Fall of BMG Interactive
v4 #42 (June 1998)How games will conquer the world
v4 #43 (July 1998)The Licensing Game
v4 #44 (August 1998)The Console Wars of 1999
v4 #45 (September 1998) Dreamcast: The Full Story
v4 #46 (October 1998)A Question of Character
v4 #47 (November 1998)The secret of Namco's success
v4 #48 (December 1998)Do video games stand a chance in Hollywood
v5 #49 (January 1999)What did Super Mario 64 do for video games
v5 #50 (February 1999)Dreamcast Countdown
v5 #51 (March 1999) Physics Matters
v5 #52 (April 1999) Learning Curves
v5 #53 (May 1999)Man versus machine
v5 #54 (June 1999) Dreamcast versus PlayStation 2
v5 #55 (July 1999) Building the Future
v5 #56 (August 1999) Rare's Triple Threat
v1 #1 (September 1999)Dreamcast Arrives
v1 #2 (October 1999)Hooray for Hollywood
v1 #3 (November 1999)PlayStation 2 arrives
v1 #4 (December 1999)The War for the Living Room
v2 #1 (January 2000) Crunch time
v2 #2 (February 2000)The Games of 2000 Will Blow Your Mind
v2 #3 (March 2000)Raising the Bar
v2 #4 (April 2000)PlayStation 2: Hands-On Report
v2 #5 (May 2000)Sega's new deal
v2 #6 (June 2000)Ready for war
v2 #7 (July 2000) Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
v2 #8 (August 2000)The Making of the Xbox
v2 #9 (September 2000)Dreamcast: The First Anniversary
v2 #10 (October 2000)Broadband Gaming
v2 #11 (November 2000) Nintendo GameCube: Can Nintendo Compete
v2 #12 (December 2000) 2001 PlayStation 2 games
v3 #1 (January 2001)Got Talent: First Party Developers
v3 #2 (February 2001) Games Grow Up
v3 #3 (March 2001)Start your own game company
v3 #4 (April 2001)Field of Indrema
v3 #5 (May 2001)Old Systems, New Games
v3 #6 (June 2001) Sega's Next Move
v3 #7 (July 2001) Eidos on Edge
v3 #8 (August 2001)GameCube Exposed
v3 #9 (September 2001)Video Game U
v3 #10 (October 2001)25 Power Players
v3 #11 (November 2001)Xbox arrives
v3 #12 (December 2001)Nintendo's GameCube is here
v4 #1 (January 2002)Xbox review

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  1. "Imagine Media is now Future Network USA". Future Network USA. 2005-01-22. Archived from the original on 2005-02-10. Retrieved 2007-01-30.
  2. "Classic Videogame Games INTERVIEW - Chris Charla". Good Deal Games. Retrieved 2013-02-10.
  3. Future to rebrand Next Gen website as Edge
  4. "Letters". Next Generation. No. 27. Imagine Media. March 1997. p. 109.