Next Generation (magazine)

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]

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.

Next Generation
NextGen Cover 01-95
The cover of the January '95 issue of Next Generation.
First issueJanuary 1995
Final issue
January 2002
Volume 4, No. 13
CompanyImagine Media
CountryUnited States

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. 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]


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.

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 1 Lifecycle 2
Issue Feature
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
Issue Feature
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


  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.

External links

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Bomberman Legends

Bomberman Legends is an unreleased action-maze video game that was in development by Genetic Fantasia and planned to be published by Atari Corporation exclusively for the Atari Jaguar. It was going to be a unique entry in the Bomberman franchise, featuring its own dedicated single-player and multiplayer modes, with the latter having support for up to eight players by using two Team Tap adapters.The idea of creating a Bomberman title for the Jaguar was primarily hatched by Genetic Fantasia, which was a development company that was formed by video game developer and former Next Generation magazine editor Mike Mika, along with his colleagues to Atari Corp. during a behind-the-scenes meeting at Las Vegas in 1994, with the team looking at Super Bomberman 2 in order to replicate its gameplay mechanics on the system.Though Atari acquired the license of Bomberman from Hudson Soft between 1994 and 1995, the project would be discontinued by the former sometime in 1996 along with other upcoming projects for the platform such as Black ICE\White Noise and Thea Realm Fighters, due to Atari preparing to drop support for the Jaguar before merging with JT Storage in a reverse takeover on April of the same year. Bomberman Legends was never previewed or mentioned in magazines and other publications at the time when the title was still being developed, until its existence was revealed during an online Q&A session hosted by Next Generation on April 1998. The game was also thought to be lost, before its source code was eventually recovered in recent years by two of the original programmers of the title.

Brenda Romero

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For Wizardry, Romero provided game design, level design, system design, writing and scripting. She also wrote the manuals and documentation for some products in the series. Romero provided writing and documentation for the award-winning Jagged Alliance series. She was the lead designer for Playboy: The Mansion and Dungeons & Dragons: Heroes.

British Open Championship Golf

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British Open Championship Golf was the third self-published game released by Looking Glass Technologies. It was directed by Rex Bradford, designer of the early golf title Mean 18. The team sought to create an accurate simulation of tournament golf play, which they felt was missing in the genre. To achieve this goal, they focused on recreating the atmosphere of a tournament, and included reactive crowds and announcers. The game was placed in competition with popular golf series such as Links and PGA Tour.

The game was a major commercial failure, and Looking Glass ceased its self-publishing operations after its release. Despite this, it was generally well reviewed by critics, who praised Jim McKay's commentary and the game's graphics and atmosphere. Criticism was leveled against its lack of multiplayer or course creation functionality, and some reviewers found fault with its brevity.


Bug! is a platform video game developed by Realtime Associates and published by Sega for the Sega Saturn. It was first released in North America in 1995 just weeks after the Saturn's launch there, in Europe on 15 September 1995 and in Japan on 8 December 1995. It was also ported to Windows 3.1x and Windows 95 in 1996 by Beam Software. The game centres around Bug, a Hollywood actor who hopes to gain fame by defeating the villainous Queen Cadavra.

The game was developed with the titular character being considered a possible mascot for the Saturn. This was due to the absence of a Sonic the Hedgehog game at the time of its launch, however the game failed to catch consumer attention. It was one of the earliest examples of 3D platforming as well as the first platform game released on the Saturn. Bug! received positive reviews upon release; critics praised its graphics and colourful visual effects, however the game's music and voice acting were criticised. A sequel, Bug Too!, was released for the Saturn in 1996.

Future US

Future US, Inc. (formerly known as Imagine Media and The Future Network USA) is an American media corporation specializing in targeted magazines and websites in the video games, music, and technology markets. Future US is headquartered in the San Francisco with a small sales office in New York City. Future US is owned by parent company, Future plc, a publishing company based in the United Kingdom.

Its magazines and websites include:

PC Gamer

Official Xbox Magazine


Maximum PC

Electronic Musician

Guitar Player

Guitar World

Multichannel News

Broadcasting & Cable


Jason Jones (programmer)

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Following the modest success of Minotaur, Jones programmed Bungie's next game, Pathways Into Darkness, and worked on code, level design and story development for Bungie's Marathon and Myth series. For Bungie's next projects, Halo: Combat Evolved and Halo 2, Jones took on a more managerial role as project lead. He served as director on the 2014 video game Destiny.

Larry Hryb

Lawrence "Larry" Hryb (), also known by his Xbox Live Gamertag "Major Nelson", is a Director of Programming for the Microsoft gaming network Xbox Live. His blog "Xbox Live's Major Nelson" provides an inside look at operations at Microsoft's Xbox division. He picked the Gamertag "Major Nelson" after a character by the same name on the 1960s U.S. television comedy I Dream of Jeannie after it was recommended to him by his TiVo. Larry dedicated his Gamertag to Larry Hagman after his death in 2012. Prior to joining Microsoft in 2001, he was a former programmer and on air host with radio broadcaster Clear Channel Communications. Hryb graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in Television, Radio and Film production from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Midtown Madness

Midtown Madness (also known as Midtown Madness: Chicago Edition) is a racing game developed for Windows by Angel Studios and published by Microsoft. The demo version was released on April 30, 1999. Two sequels followed, with Midtown Madness 2 released in September 2000 and Midtown Madness 3 released in June 2003 for the Xbox. The game is set in Chicago and its objective is to win street races and obtain new cars.

Unlike racing games that restrict the player to a race track, Midtown Madness offers an open world recreation of Chicago. This setting was said to provide "an unprecedented degree of freedom to drive around in a virtual city". Players can explore the city via one of several modes, and can determine the weather and traffic conditions for each race. The game supports multiplayer races over a local area network or the Internet. The game received generally positive reviews from gaming websites.

Presto Studios

Presto Studios was a computer game development company of the 1990s, especially famous for its award-winning The Journeyman Project series and the 2001 sequel to Cyan's hit Myst series, Myst III: Exile.

In August 2002, Presto Studios shut down new development after the release of an Xbox title Whacked!. In a statement, Greg Uhler (executive producer) announced the closing of the company:

"Due to business, financial, and personal reasons, Presto Studios is discontinuing software development. Whacked! for the Xbox will be the last product that we ship. The company will remain as a corporate entity for many years, but will not be developing products. A minimal staff, including Michel and myself, will be here until the end of October."

Q*bert (1999 video game)

Q*bert is a remake of the 1982 arcade game of the same name with 3D graphics. It was developed by Artech Studios and released by Hasbro Interactive on the PlayStation and Microsoft Windows in 1999 and on the Dreamcast in 2000.

Steve Reid (video game producer)

Steve Reid is an American video game producer, managing director of game developer Red Storm Entertainment. He serves on the Visual Arts Advisory Board of the Game Developers Conference. Next Generation Magazine listed Reid as #14 on its "Hot 100 Game Developers for 2007".

Super Mario 64

Super Mario 64 is a 1996 platform video game for the Nintendo 64, and the first in the Super Mario series to feature three-dimensional (3D) gameplay. As Mario, the player explores Princess Peach's castle and must rescue her from Bowser. As an early 3D platformer, Super Mario 64 is based on open-world playability, degrees of freedom through all three axes in space, and relatively large areas which are composed primarily of true 3D polygons as opposed to only two-dimensional (2D) sprites. It places an emphasis on exploration within vast worlds that require the player to complete various missions, in addition to the occasional linear obstacle courses as in traditional platform games. While doing so, it still preserves many gameplay elements and characters of earlier Mario games, and the same visual style.

Producer/director and Mario creator Shigeru Miyamoto conceived a 3D Mario game during the production of Star Fox (1993). Super Mario 64's development, handled by Nintendo EAD, lasted approximately three years; one was spent on designing while the next two on direct work. The visuals were created using the Nichimen N-World toolkit, and Miyamoto aimed to include more details than earlier games. A multiplayer mode featuring Luigi as a playable character was planned but cut. Along with Pilotwings 64, Super Mario 64 was one of the launch games for Nintendo 64. Nintendo released it in Japan on June 23, 1996, and later in North America, Europe, and Australia. A remake, Super Mario 64 DS, was released for the Nintendo DS in 2004, and the original version was rereleased for Nintendo's Virtual Console service on the Wii and Wii U in 2006 and 2015, respectively.

Super Mario 64 is acclaimed as one of the greatest video games of all time, and was the first game to receive a perfect score from Edge magazine. Reviewers praised its ambition, visuals, gameplay, and music, although they criticized its unreliable camera system. It is the Nintendo 64's bestseller, with more than eleven million copies sold by 2003. The game left a lasting impression on the field of 3D game design, featuring a dynamic camera system and 360-degree analog control, and established a new archetype for the 3D genre, much as Super Mario Bros. did for 2D side-scrolling platformers. Numerous developers cited Super Mario 64 as an influence on their later games.

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In 2018, Escapist Magazine launched Volume Two, a rehauled website in conjunction with its purchase by Enthusiast Gaming, who also own Destructoid.

Thomas Russo

Thomas Russo or Tom Russo may refer to:

Thom Russo

Thomas Russo on List of characters from The Sopranos – friends and family

Dr. Tom Russo, character in In the Flesh (TV series)

Tom Russo, editor of Next Generation (magazine)

Tom Russo, character in Killing Spree

Tom Russo, UIC Flames men's basketball

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