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Future and Sony replace FirstPlay video magazine

Paid-for PSN-download show makes way for new free offering from publisher

Future Publishing and Sony have announced that FirstPlay, the paid-for PSN digital magazine, will be retired in favour of an as yet un-named free replacement. July 6's episode of FirstPlay was the last to be published.

FirstPlay had been available to PSN users for 99p per issue, but the new project will be free to all "eligible UK PSN account holders."

No details of the detail or monetisation plans have been revealed but content of the new venture will be closely aligned with Sony's new Access strategy - including reporting from consumer-facing industry events, video, preview and interview content.

"We went a long way very quickly with FirstPlay and this new phase in our partnership with PlayStation will allow us to take HD video magazine content to the next level," said Future's group publisher Simon Maxwell.

"Production on the new show is well under way and editorial standards are impeccably high. We're looking forward to providing SCE UK with top-quality video content for more PlayStation gamers than ever before."

SCE's Alan Duncan, UK marketing director, described the venture as "a great content initiative which forms a key part of SCEUK's strategy to reward and engage with our consumers in a more meaningful way."

The unspoken agenda is also likely to involve an attempt to regain the trust of PSN users after the year's extensive PSN hacking scandal, which saw the service out of action for six weeks to undergo security restructuring.

That plan is already seeing rewards, with downloads on the way back up as gamers return to the service.

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Dan Pearson

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