Something will feel different when you open that video game box later this year if it's a Ubisoft product: that little instruction booklet that has become a staple of the industry won't be there. Instead, gamers will be able to look up the game manual within the game itself through a digital interface.
Ubisoft, which has published successful titles like Assassin's Creed, games in the Tom Clancy franchise, and the video game version of James Cameron's Avatar, said the "more intuitive access" offered through an in-game guide provides value to the consumer. Sony's PSPgo system offers similar functionality. The portable device that can only play digitally-downloaded games allows publishers to embed a manual in the game that users can access through an internal menu system. Ubisoft's move is part of a bigger effort from the company to "go green," as it will now also begin manufacturing game cases that are made out of 100% recycled materials. The first game to make use of the new paperless, digital game manual will be Shaun White Snowboarding, a multi-platform title due out for the 2010 holiday season.