Future has all to play for

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Sony is not the only one benefiting from the PlayStation mania sweeping the country. The publishing group Future Network is also set to cash in further on the continuing success of the games consul when it's awarded a three-year licence to publish the Official PlayStation 2 magazine tomorrow.

Sony is not the only one benefiting from the PlayStation mania sweeping the country. The publishing group Future Network is also set to cash in further on the continuing success of the games consul when it's awarded a three-year licence to publish the Official PlayStation 2 magazine tomorrow.

Future, which was floated on the London Stock Exchange in June last year for £580m and has since doubled in value, publishes over 125 magazines worldwide. It already produces the Official PlayStation and has been competing with other publishers such as Emap, Paragon and Quay to win the rights to the second PlayStation magazine.

Official PlayStation was launched by Future in 1995 and has become one of the top-selling magazines in the UK. Sales peaked at 400,000 last Christmas but have since dropped to some 300,000 copies a month.

The popularity of the PlayStation has been phenomenal, with more than 74 million sold worldwide since its launch six years ago. PlayStation 2 is due to go on sale in the UK on 26 October. It entered the Japanese market in March and has outsold PlayStation 1 by 325 per cent over the same period - emphasising the significance of tomorrow's announcement for Future Network.

"Of all the types of magazine publishing, this is the one with the greatest opportunity," said Greg Ingham, chief executive of Future. "Everyone's seen the success we've had with Official PlayStation, which is why there has been so much competition for this licence. PlayStation 2 is the most important consumer electronics launch ever and ... the licence for the official magazine is of major significance for the company."

Official PlayStation 2 will also be published monthly from October, and will cost £4.99.

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