- I've recently been talking about the U.S. Official Xbox Magazine a bit - not just because they got me to write something for its last issue, but more because it's fascinating to see the mag strive to evolve in a world where an Xbox 360 paper-mag with a coverdisc could be a bit of a hard sell.

The content in the mag itself seems a lot sharper, post-relaunch, and I just got the March 2007 issue, with Guitar Hero II on the front. But it's clear that, unless OXM can morph the cover-disc further, quite apart from the exclusive Japanese demos or paid downloadable content for free (which I love, but may not happen every month!), people could tire quickly of the coverdisc - the March one mainly has Xbox Live Arcade demos on it, which are easily downloadable if you have Xbox Live, of course. I haven't booted it yet.

So, there's a little teaser announcement as part of 'The OXM 30' in the March issue: "The Official Xbox Magazine demo disc won't just be about playable demos, game downloads, and viewable videos in 2007. It's evolving with the system, and it will soon be reborn as a universe unto itself - literally. Soon you'll build your own rocket ship and become a part of the OXM galaxy, interacting with other readers, trading game content, and changing the way you think of demo discs forever... Buckle up for liftoff next issue."

Well, this _is_ very cryptic, isn't it? I had a chat to Dan Amrich of OXM at the Microsoft Vista games launch a couple of weeks back, and he didn't actually reveal anything further, other than being abstractly excited about it. But if I wanted to bet, I'd guess that it's some kind of special OXM executable which allows interaction over Xbox Live within a custom interface. But, as I said - I'm totally guessing here.

[Also worth noting - some new Xbox Live Arcade reviews in the March 2007 issue were for unreleased XBLA games, including Worms getting 7.5, with the slightly worrying comment: "Was it purposely truncated to allow downloadable content?", since it's missing stalwart weapons including the Holy Hand Grenade, Root Beer Tapper getting 6.0 with "good time-killer", and the Big Huge Games-developed Catan being "A truly unique Live experience", and getting 8.0. Go subscribe to OXM if you want to be part of the 'rocket ship/OXM galaxy' experiment, like a Peter Moore-approved Laika.]