Report: PS Vita games to be (physically) manual-less

Japanese retails are currently preparing for the launch of the PS Vita, which is set to be released tomorrow, several months before the US and UK get their hands on the exciting new handheld. But as gamers and press begin to get copies of the games, they're noticing that something is... missing. It's the instruction manuals - apparently, while they're still being included in the game itself in digital form, they're not being included inside boxed copies of the game.

Above: The box looks pretty barren for us

Andriasang is reporting that the paperwork to the left of the image above isn't actual a manual, but a single sheet of paper showing warning messages. You know, the stuff that says "don't shove the system in your mouth" and "if you have seizures, please don't play this game."

If you want to find out about the controls, see the credits, or... read whatever it is developers typically put in the manual... you need to view the digital version within the game. This isn't all that surprising. This past generation has seen shrinking manuals as a trend, both because of developers trying to save money, and gamers caring less about the packet of paper included in their videogame boxes, and more about the content of the games themselves.

So, what about you? Sad to see them go, or are you fine with saving a few trees? 


PS Vita


  • Scoob - December 16, 2011 7:04 p.m.

    What am I supposed to read while dropping a deuce now?
  • robertpopovic - December 17, 2011 1:01 a.m.

    We-ell, it's a handheld console anyway, so perfect for those little 'trips'
  • Squander - December 16, 2011 3:47 p.m.

    manuals receive less and less love from developers/publishers - and I also find myself hardly reading them. I actually like that green development
  • therawski - December 16, 2011 3:11 p.m.

    Some games I feel need to have at least a quick reference, some games are relatively straight forward. But I do miss the little back stories they would put in, I can't remember how many times I read the Metroid 2 manual. (Recapture: elparty wife)
  • 510BrotherPanda - December 16, 2011 1:26 p.m.

    NOOOOOOOOOOOOOoooo!!! The manuals contribute to the "new game smell" of the box! I don't want to HAVE to buy more games to get my fix!!!
  • Cyberninja - December 16, 2011 1:08 p.m.

    this is actually only for some games and not all of them
  • WTeen8 - December 16, 2011 1:06 p.m.

    I remember when I was younger (than now) and how big the manuals for N64 games were, and how cool they looked. I also later read the Smash Bros. Melee manual like 50 times, just for fun, and because how awesome it was. Heck, sometimes I still read the manuals for games, just to see how cool they are. Then I found out developers and other people shrunk them, and made them 5 pages long....although I'm not buying a VITA so If this is only for this system then whoop de doo. Although it's good for trees.
  • robertpopovic - December 16, 2011 11:30 a.m.

    I remember a day (/grandpa mode) when games used to have manuals that were actually filled with interesting stories about the world, the characters and various other nifty extra's. Silly as it is I actually often felt a slight dissapointment whenever I bought a new game and the manual was steadily becoming thinner and thinner, eventually only 3 or 4 pages. On the other side, if they taking away the manual anyway (for 'paper costs'?) why are they still including so much plastic? So much wasted material around the part holding the game. Sure I can understand that it allows for bigger coverart and thus being more eyecatching. But they could've handled it a tad better like Nintendo did with the 3DS cases (filled with holes). Ocarina of Time even has a doubleprint on the cover to show coloured rupees (rupies?) through the holes :D
  • CancerMan - December 16, 2011 11:54 a.m.

    I remember the good old days too. Loads of art and back story used to fill the pages. But as it is today going digital would be an improvement. (just look at Wipeout)
  • ChaosEternal - December 16, 2011 11:56 a.m.

    I miss those days too. I loved the extra lore the manuals contained, and the pictures showing how to pull off certain actions. :(
  • SomeOddGuy - December 16, 2011 4:08 p.m.

    I remember back when I got Warioland 4 the day after Christmas(for my newly obtained Gameboy Advance), I opened up the manual to read all sorts of random, useless, but entertaining crap that they had loaded into that thing. It really breaks my heart when Developers don't even feel inclined to make the manual a part of the entertainment experience anymore, just detailing some features of the games while making it seem as lifeless as possible. I'm disheartened to see Nintendo now following into this trend since they were one of the few I trusted with detailed and interesting manuals anymore.
  • Fiirestorm21 - December 16, 2011 11:19 a.m.

    It is kinda sad, but as the article (kind of) notes, Sony's just making official what we've been trending towards for quite a while now. It's an era I'll miss, though, to be sure, as will many other gamers. Hopefully it'll be made up for somewhat in fleshing out the digital manuals to be more than straightforward PDFs. If we're going that way, I'd like to see some of the potential utilized.
  • MIster-Woot - December 16, 2011 11:18 a.m.

    EA and Ubisoft have already pulled this one, so it's no surprise. I do like the fact they left in the "do not shove this up you nose, please do not eat, for external use only" warnings :D
  • evilpacman18 - December 16, 2011 11:02 a.m.

    It's actually kinda sad. I used to buy a game and the first thing I would do was read every page of the manual before even putting the disc in my console.
  • ChaosEternal - December 16, 2011 11:57 a.m.

    Same here. No point now however. The only thing in manuals now are instructions about what the words on the main menu mean. >_>

Showing 1-15 of 15 comments

Join the Discussion
Add a comment (HTML tags are not allowed.)
Characters remaining: 5000