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Ubisoft ridding its Xbox, PS3 titles of manuals

The paper game manual is an endangered species, at least if Ubisoft's new paperless route spreads to other publishers. The company is doing away with them entirely in its Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 titles.


This may very well be the beginning of the end for the paper game manuals found in console games. Game publisher and developer Ubisoft on Monday announced that it would no longer be shipping them in its future console titles on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

In their place will be an in-game manual that provides the same types of information about controls, game credits, and other legal information. This is the same kind of offering Ubisoft's been doing with its PC games since last month. According to the company, the first console title to feature such a paperless experience will be Shaun White Skateboarding, which is set for release sometime this holiday season.

Along with the reduction in the paper that is normally included in each game title, Ubisoft is also making considerable changes to its packaging--at least in the North American production of its titles. The company has partnered with Technimark to create a 100 percent recycled DVD case, made up of polypropylene. Ubisoft says the first title to ship with the new packaging will be the PC version of Tom Clancy's Spinter Cell Conviction, which is due out next week.

Noticeably absent from Ubisoft's move to digital packaging are Nintendo Wii titles, as well as game manuals for portable systems like the Nintendo DS and PlayStation Portable. Though, if the company sees big cost savings from this move, it might not be that way for long.