Official Nintendo Magazine
, or ONM
, is the UK's official Nintendo
magazine, and is published by Future Publishing()
. It currently goes on sale monthly and retails at £3.99. It is considered to be the British equivalent to the American official Nintendo magazine Nintendo Power
. Issue 1 was released on 16 February 2006
, after much speculation due to a change over from previous publisher EMAP
The magazine is the oldest running games magazine in the UK, and when launched was called Nintendo Magazine System
, reflecting the NES
, which was hugely popular back in the early '90s. This name would later be dropped to reflect Nintendo's move away from the NES and SNES
naming system toward the N64
Nintendo Official Magazine was published by EMAP for 12 years, before the change of publisher to Future Publishing. The magazine has inherited a look similar to that of Edge, also published by Future.
Every issue of the magazine includes a "free gift", or premium. The long running service can include objects which range anywhere from Nintendo themed playing cards (Issue 141 of NOM), DVDs featuring videos of numerous games (an example being the "E3 2006" DVD included with Issue 5 of ONM), or even a packet of M&Ms (Issue 10 of ONM - this is also notable because subscribers did not receive it, most likely due to problems that would occur during posting).
This is the current content of ONM, correct as of Issue 31.
"Welcome" - This page welcomes the reader and is also home to all the contact information for ONM. It contains a box displaying "The Official Nintendo Range" - Official Nintendo Magazine Website, Official Nintendo Special Edition, Girl Gamer and Nintendo Power. It also highlights a feature within the magazine.
"Contents" - This page is home to displaying what is in the magazine. The page also contains a list of games featured in the magazine.
"Select" - This section is a "pick of the latest Nintendo news". It also contains:
- Hot list - Five highlights of the world of Nintendo that month.
- Global - Nintendo news from around the world.
- Square Eyed - A selection of games the ONM Team have enjoyed playing that month.
- Official Sales Charts - The top ten most popular games for the Nintendo DS and Wii within the UK.
- Release Dates - A list of game release dates.
- The Month In Numbers - Statistics of the Nintendo world that month.
"Next Month" - A look at next month's issue of ONM.
"Feedback" - Feedback from readers of the magazine:
- Letters - Letters from readers as well as replies. The writer of the "Star Letter" gets a prize.
- Text the Editor - Text messages from readers.
- In a Word - Letters are given one word answers.
- Random Rant - A letter that rants as well as a reply.
- Cover Versions - The best user-created covers, submitted via the forum, are displayed.
- The Forums Speak - This shows results of various polls as well as comments from members about the polls.
- Your team - Information about the ONM team.
"Feature" - Perhaps the main core of the magazine, the feature may or may not be the cover story and may take up a substantial amount of magazine space, possibly up to 12 pages long. There may be multiple 'Features' within one issue.
"Competition" - A monthly competition is usually held here.
"Previews" - This section contains information about games which are to be released in the future. There is a section which gives information on the format, publisher, developer, whether or not the game contains a multiplayer option and the controller(s). At the beginning of the preview, a rough release date (ETA) is given. An 'In Summary' box summarizes the editor's views on the previewed game.
"Subscribe" - The pages where ONM advertise how to subscribe to their magazine. Subscribers get an exclusive free gift. Since Issue 21, ONM have included free games in their offers.
"Reviews" - The latest games are reviewed here. A section at the beginning of each review gives such information as the game's publisher, format, developer, release date and whether or not it has multiplayer or is Wi-Fi enabled. At the end of the review a series of bullet points summarise the good and bad parts of the game (using + and - symbols respectively instead of Mario and Wario heads as in NOM), and the game receives a percentage. Games that reach over 90% receive an ONM gold award, which can be used to advertise games if the developers wish to. Subscription information is usually found right before the "Reviews" portion of the magazine.
"Directory" - Essentially ending the magazine, this section features:
- '''How To... - Tutorials on Nintendo consoles.
- Game Guide - This section is host to a number of game guides, featuring hints and tips for the featured games.
- Challenges - A section featuring leaderboards.
- Competition - Another monthly competition is usually held here.
- Rated - This sections features an alphabetically listed list of the top 50 games on Wii, Nintendo DS and Wii Shop Channel, as well as a 'Settling Scores' section where readers can voice their views on the scores given.
- Profile - Trivia about a featured Nintendo character. There is a box about games the character has been in.
The Official Nintendo Magazine team consists of:
- Editor: Neil Long
- Deputy Editor: Martin Mathers
- Online Editor: Tom East
- Art Editor: Matthew Kendall
- Deputy Art Editor: Clair Williams
- Designer: Roland Hammed
- Production Editor: Fred Dutton
- Staff Writer: Chris Scullion
- Senior Art Editor: Christian Day
Previous Nintendo Official Magazine Staff (EMAP):
- Editor: Tim Street (Now employed by EMAP as Website Editor for MATCH)
- Deputy Editor: Dean Scott (Now employed by Codemasters UK)
- Reviews Editor: Mike Jackson (Now Sony Editor of ComputerAndVideoGames.com)
- Staff Writer: Rob Burman (Now reunited with Dean Scott and working at Codemasters UK)
- Art Editor(s): Hakan Simsek & Dan Payne
- Editorial Assistant: Giulia Trianni
People who have worked with the magazine over the years:
- Domonic Wint
- Jim Blackstock (Acting Prod. Editor of ONM)
- Kingsley Singleton (Former Prod. Editor of NOM)
- Mark Sommer (Former Art Editor of NOM)
- Chris Kohler (Now editor of Game|Life, Wired.com's official gaming blog)
- John Ricciardi]
- Frank Cifaldi (Now Editorial Manager of GameTap)
- Jonti Davies
- Dave McComb
- Richard Marsh
- Charlotte Martyn (Former Prod. Editor for ONM, now Operations Editer for NGamer)
- Lee Nutter (Former Editor)
Although ONM did run a subscription service which included one of the recent free gifts as a "bonus", the ONM subscription service runs an offer where a year-month subscription comes with a free game or peripheral, in place of the aforementioned free gifts. This section comprises a list of different items available in the offer, and how many issues they lasted until supplies ran out.
Important Dates in the History of NOM and ONM
The roots of ONM
lie deep within UK's game publishing history:
, a long standing and well respected UK games magazine, announced it would split into two distinct magazines, focusing on the two major games console giants of the day; Sega
. The Sega based magazine retained the original title simply calling itself Mean Machines Sega
, whilst the Nintendo version of Mean Machines
gained the title of Nintendo Magazine System
This list is based on a list published in Nintendo Official Magazine, Issue 150.
- Issue 1 - NOM starts under the name of Nintendo Magazine System on October 1 1992
- Issue 40 - First ever pictures of the Nintendo 64, named NU64 at that time.
- Issue 54 - Name changed to Nintendo Magazine
- Issue 57 - World Exclusive: Star Fox 64
- Issue 70 - Name changed to Nintendo Official Magazine
- Issue 97 - World Exclusive: Game Boy Advance and GameCube revealed
- Issue 99 - The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask reviewed
- Issue 105 - NOM review the Game Boy Advance
- Issue 116 - NOM gets a new look and the Nintendo GameCube reaches the UK
- Issue 150 - NOM's 150th Issue - NOM is the oldest running games magazine in the UK
- Issue 151 - Nintendo DS UK launch issue, the magazine gets a small makeover and loses the UK on the end of its title.
- Issue 160 - Mario Kart DS is reviewed after a delay of such a review. The game receives 95%.
- Issue 162 - The last issue of NOM printed under EMAP. NOM awards its lowest score ever to Crazy Frog Racer, scoring only 5%. Subscribers lose their subscriptions to the magazine
- Issue 1 (New format) - Future's first issue with Official Nintendo Magazine. The name changes to said title, although the magazine goes on sale with a cover name of "Nintendo: The Official Magazine". This issue restarts the numbering system.
- Issue 8 - World Exclusive: Battalion Wars 2.
- Issue 11 - Wii UK launch issue. 11 of the UK's 20 launch titles are reviewed, including the much anticipated game The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess.
- Issue 14 - World Exclusive: MySims Preview. Issue 14 was also the first issue since the departure of the editor Lee Nutter, being replaced by the previous Associate Editor Chandra Nair.
- Issue 23 - World Exclusive: Super Mario Galaxy reviewed. The game receives 97%, the joint highest score ONM has ever awarded, the other games being The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess and Resident Evil 4 for the GameCube.
- Issue 31 - The magazine is redesigned and shuffled. "Super Smash Bros. Brawl" is reviewed and given 95%. This is the first issue since the launch of WiiWare and all the launch games are reviewed. The game based on the movie of Iron Man is also reviewed and given 15%, the lowest score ONM has ever given (a position previously taken by Rampage: Total Destruction which scored 20%).
ONM has printed numerous special issues throughout its lifetime, often released in between two issues of the main magazine. Those printed under Official Nintendo Magazine retail at £4.99, a £1 increase on the standard price of £3.99.
- Special DS Lite release issue - released in between Issues 5 and 6, this issue collected 50+ DS game reviews from previous issues. Fan-reaction was rather split, with some complaining of its unusual £4.99 price-tag, whilst others praised it for the useful nature of having such reviews contained in one magazine, rather than being spread across numerous issues.
- DS Guides Special Edition issue - another DS centered special issue, released between Issues 7 and 8, this second special edition was a collection of recent guides of DS games and included a 12 page guide for Animal Crossing: Wild World, a New Super Mario Bros. expert guide and a Nintendogs training guide.
- Pokémon Special Edition issue - an issue dedicated to Pokémon, celebrating its 10th anniversary. Released in between Issues 9 and 10, it covers everything Pokémon related, from the games to the TV shows, theme parks and the popular Trading Card Game. The issue announced that the Pokémon film Pokémon: Jirachi Wishmaker would be released on DVD in the UK on the October 30, 2007.
- Wii Buyer's Guide Special Edition issue
- Nintendo DS: The Complete Guide
- Wii Review Issue
- Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Preview Issue
- Pokémon Diamond and Pearl Launch Edition. This special edition of ONM, in celebration of the UK release of Pokémon Diamond and Pearl games, contained a £5-off voucher for those buying them.
- A Super Mario Special Edition, released on September 13, 2007.
- A Legend of Zelda Special Edition, released on November 8, 2007.
- Best Games of 2008, released in February.
- Another Pokémon Special Edition, released on March 10, 2008.
- A Wii Game Guide Issue 13, May 2008 Edition.
Although there was a NOM
website (hosted on the CVG website, with a forum) , the change to ONM
brought with it a much bigger, and much more updated, website. Currently, located here
, it not only highlights the latest issue, but also posts current news and reviews of games, as well as forum with over half a million posts. This marks an expansion compared to previous web sites for the magazine, which offered only summaries of the current issue and a subscription management service.
Set up around the time of Issue 8, the website also includes a feature called the Video Vault, featuring videos of upcoming games specifically for readers of the magazine. Originally hosted on a MySpace account it is now hosted as part of the website so that readers without a MySpace account can view the videos. The Video Vault operated on a password basis: in order to access the videos, users needed to enter a password printed in a specific section of the magazine. Such a password changed each month, but from Issue 22, the password system was no longer used.
Starting with the publication of Issue 16, the website includes a 16 page electronic preview of the magazine's newest issue on its home page. A new site was launched on 17th January 2008 and had new features such as a blog. The forums also changed to a CVG-style board, much like those of fellow publications Official Xbox Magazine and NGamer.