Nintendo Magazine System
Nintendo Magazine System was a Nintendo-focused monthly magazine published by Trielle Corporation (issues 1-33) and Catalyst Publishing (issues 34-89). It spanned 89 issues from April 1993 until August 2000. Nintendo had no official magazine presence from this time until the launch of Official Nintendo Magazine in November 2008.
Nintendo Magazine System was first published by Trielle Corporation from April 1993. The first issue of the magazine was 68 pages and cost $AU4.95. The launch of the magazine was supported by a television advertising campaign for the first couple of issues.
The magazine was praised for its critical tone and coverage of technology outside of the world of Nintendo such as virtual reality.
After 33 issues, the magazine shifted from Trielle Corporation to Catalyst Publishing - the company which published the short-lived Australian versions of Club Nintendo and Nintendo Power. According to a source who worked for the publication while it was at Trielle, the company lost the license to use the Official Nintendo logo on the front cover after Catalyst offered more money for the rights.
Catalyst retained the numbering from the Trielle run and reduced the number of ads in the magazine to just two - one inside the front cover, and one on the back cover. The page count of the magazine was increased to 84 for the 55th issue (albeit with an increase in price to $AU5.95), and finally to 100 pages for the 69th issue.
Attitudes towards the change to Catalyst began to sour over time as there was a shift in editorial attitude toward a stronger Nintendo bias. Third party peripherals were almost uniformly trashed, regardless of quality, and Nintendo products were always showcased in a positive light. The magazine's standards also began to slip (see Controversy: Superman 64 below).
The decision to cease publication of Nintendo Magazine System was abrupt. The 89th and final issue showed that Turok 3: Shadows of Oblivion was to be on the cover of the 90th issue. Plans to launch a new Game Boy specific publication were also advertised in the 87th issue, but never materialised. No warning of impending cancellation was announced in the 89th issue - the 90th issue simply never showed up on newsstands. Popular opinion suggests that the magazine's sales were declining.
Five official guides were published under the Nintendo Magazine System brand: Banjo-Kazooie, The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Pokémon, Jet Force Gemini and Donkey Kong 64. Each of the guides was 100 pages and cost $AU9.95, with the exception of Donkey Kong 64, which was 116 pages.
There was significant reader backlash after the magazine awarded a score of 80% to Superman 64, which is considered to be one of the worst games ever released.
For the June 2000 issue, Catalyst Publishing increased the cover price of the magazine to $6.95, with the note that the cover price included GST, which was to come into effect in Australia in July 2000. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission forced Catalyst to apologise to customers about the raised cost of the magazine by making them include a full page advertisement in the next issue of the magazine explaining that the rise in cost was not due to the implementation of the GST.
- The first 100 subscribers to the magazine received a free copy of Snake, Rattle 'n' Roll for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
- Issue 4 offered readers the opportunity to purchase Probotector for a reduced price of $AU30.
- One of the regular contributors to the magazine under Trielle was the 1993/94 Nintendo Australian champion Benjamin Smith, who scored his gig after writing a report on his trip to London to compete in a larger competition.
- Early issues of the magazine recycled some content from the UK version of Nintendo Magazine System
- Letters section often featured fan art of Sonic the Hedgehog meeting a graphic end
- Famous blow up by magazine's readers seeing Amos Wong reviewing Sega games on The Zone
- Issue 82 had four covers - one of each of the four South Park boys (Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman)
- Production of the magazine was conducted in the UK, with some content recycled from the UK magazine and the rest provided by Australian-based freelancers.
Peter Shiels, Simon Tambourine, Daniel Toone, Steve Merrett, Angus Swan, Tony Hall, Julian Rignall, Radion Automatic, Paul Davies, James Leopard, Jim Molston, Andrew Iredale, Robert Whitfield, Jane Wilde, Michael Lee, The Skull, Andy McVittie, Tim Boone, Amos Wong, Benjamin "The Champ/Bentendo" Smith, Michael Mundy, Aaron Rudgley, Nick Smith, Baragoon, Blake 7, Paul Bufton, Shaun and Simon.
Will Robinson, Lousie Lawler, Steve Orange, Harry Makings, Alan Beard, Firenzo Matricardi, Hayley Down, Jeremy Duns, Rum Charles, Rob Griffith, Alex Bowden, Sue Clark, Kim Hull, Andrea Bujdosó, Ben Hughes and Cameron Lawton