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FirstPlay Arriving on PSN This Spring - PAL Only

Some of you may have received an email with information about FirstPlay. It’s basically a weekly video magazine that will be accessible on the PSN this Spring, initially for the UK, then to other PAL territories at a later date.

It is from the same team behind the UK Official UK PlayStation Magazine. Each weekly episode will be priced at 99p or you could subscribe and save 30% and get it for £8.99 for 90 days.

Some Q & As:

What is FirstPlay?

FirstPlay is a brand new HD weekly interactive show that can be downloaded from the PlayStation Store each Thursday from spring 2010.

What will be in it?

HD Reviews and previews, screenshots, highlights from the PSN and downloadable content.

So is it like Qore, the online magazine in the US?

Yes and no. Qore is monthly and has an on-screen presenter, FirstPlay is weekly and uses voiceover to deliver the editorial. The key aim for FirstPlay is for it to have the same access and authority as the Official PlayStation Magazine but with the extra impact from seeing the games in HD.

Who makes it?

The same team behind the UK’s Official PlayStation Magazine.

Is it just for UK users?

Initially, yes. But there are plans to roll out to all PAL regions as soon as possible.

How much does it cost?

Each episode costs 99p, or you can save 30% by subscribing for £8.99 for 90 days.

Tell me more about the types of content

The best way to see what sorts of content are featured in FirstPlay is to hit the ‘Take the tour’ button and see for yourself.

What will the downloadable content be?

It will vary from week to week, but will include themes, free ‘mini’s and in-game items.

Will there be exclusive access to demos?

Not at launch. At time of writing, negotiations are still ongoing – but rest assured there are some very exciting plans in place.

How do the subscriptions work?

Once subscribed, users need to visit the FirstPlay area of the PlayStation Store each Thursday and the latest episode will be ready for you to download.

What happens if I miss an episode?

No drama. Each episode will be on the PlayStation Store for a few weeks before being removed, so if you’re away on holiday or just happen to miss a week’s episode, you’ll still have a reasonable amount of time to download it.

How big is each episode?

On average, about 1GB. There will be about 30-40mins worth of content in each episode, excluding downloads.

Can it be downloaded in the background?


Will there be adverts?

Yes, as with most media channels, the best way to maximise quality and keep the price down is to host advertising. They will only run in front of video content, be a maximum of 30 seconds and will be skippable after viewing.

You can check out a video here, giving an insight into what to expect from FirstPlay and how it works.

I’m in two minds. It does look pretty good and if they can offer exclusive content, such as playable demos, dynamic themes, avatars etc, then it may be worth subscribing. I also like the idea of saving custom images from high res screen shots and putting them on your XMB as a wallpaper. Pretty cool.

However, to justify the extra costs, whatever content that is available will have to be fairly unique and exclusive for longer than a week or two, or else there would be no reason to pay for a service that basically offers the same type of content that is available free already. I definitely wouldn’t be happy losing what have been free playable demos to a service like this.

I think it’s a good idea in principle but it’s success will hinge on the type of content that will be available for it.