If you’ve played a video game any time in the past… well, dozen years, you’ll know that they all come with a silly printed paper manual that you probably never looked at. These manuals are ugly (often printed in black and white), and essentially just duplicate the information that you learn in-game.
I have used a manual recently, but only to look up controls for a game that I hadn’t played in a while (Dead Space). But the control mapping scheme would have been just as easy (probably even easier) to look up if there was an on-screen menu item that displayed all the controls.
The first game that will ship sans manual will be Shaun White Skateboarding this fall, which will be released for Xbox 360 and Playstation 3. “It’s pretty cool that Ubisoft is making a conscious effort to go green with its new video game packaging,” said Olympic Gold Medalist Shaun White. “I’m excited for my new skateboarding game to come out and stoked that it will be the very first Ubisoft game to be part of their green packaging initiatives.”
At the moment, the paper-saving digital manual initiative will be only for Xbox 360 and PS3, not for the Nintendo Wii, DS, or Sony PSP. This will coincide with Ubisoft’s PC “ecoTech” packaging that they’ve been rolling out recently.