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When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

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When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

Old 11-26-18, 05:56 PM
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When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

I did a search for this topic and couldn't find it. I bought a bunch of games on Black Friday and none of them came with an instruction manual. It's been at least 5 years since I've bought a game. The Xbox 360 was my last system and I remember all the games that I bought came with a manual. I always loved reading the manuals before playing the games. The Nintendo manuals were especially great. When did they stop giving you printed manuals with games?
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Old 11-26-18, 06:33 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

Even with 360 and PS3 I donít think most games had manuals. Most had the little insert with like the cover art and the various warnings. I think PS2 was the last console to have true manuals. I didnít have the original Xbox or a GameCube so canít say if they did or not.
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Old 11-26-18, 06:44 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

I feel like midway through last generation was about when they stopped being included. I never looked at manuals anyway so its not a big deal to me, although I really miss the nice and fancy ones from decades ago.
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Old 11-26-18, 07:14 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

It was also around the time they got cheap with the eco friendly cases which have large holes in the plastic.

The NES era manuals were great, I remember reading through them all the time.
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Old 11-26-18, 07:35 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

I think the last games that I bought were Mass Effect and Left 4 Dead 2. Looks like they came out in 2007 and 2009 so it's been about nine years since I bought a new game. I'm pretty sure they had manuals with them.
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Old 11-26-18, 07:45 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
The NES era manuals were great, I remember reading through them all the time.
I liked the NES era manuals too. They were actually handy to have to just reference controls quick. Plus they had cool stuff like short backstories for some games and a lot of times character/item charts. Some Genesis games did the same.
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Old 11-26-18, 08:20 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

I think a lot of the stuff that were in manuals just became redundant; control schemes are now inside game menus, and backstory is delivered through better fleshed out stories in the game itself or on websites.
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Old 11-26-18, 08:24 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
I think a lot of the stuff that were in manuals just became redundant; control schemes are now inside game menus, and backstory is delivered through better fleshed out stories in the game itself or on websites.
Yeah, different time for games. They were fun though. I even would take them with me on the go occasionally just to browse through or whatever.
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Old 11-26-18, 08:47 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

Originally Posted by fumanstan View Post
I think a lot of the stuff that were in manuals just became redundant; control schemes are now inside game menus, and backstory is delivered through better fleshed out stories in the game itself or on websites.
It's not that they're redundant; it saves costs not having to design and print them, probably shipping costs as well. But they're needed more than ever now that I need to wait an hour before my game finishes installing off the disc.
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Old 11-26-18, 09:05 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

The game controls are also introduced during the intro of the game so there is no need for manuals anymore.
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Old 11-26-18, 09:18 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

Originally Posted by Gideon68 View Post
The game controls are also introduced during the intro of the game so there is no need for manuals anymore.
That doesn't help, though, when you're picking up the game after some time off...
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Old 11-26-18, 09:26 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

I've been away from Spider-Man for a month, and I noticed that when I fired up the new DLC it was reminding me of some of the controls.
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Old 11-26-18, 10:11 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

Bloodborne has a digital instruction manual in the PS4 menu. And my copy of Cave Story for the Switch has a physical one.

But I think most were phased out at the end of last gen.
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Old 11-26-18, 10:26 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

Some of the smaller labels like Nicalis (they did the Switch release of Cave Story) and Limited Run include nice manuals.
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Old 11-26-18, 11:34 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

Some newer videogames still do kind of have paper insstruction manuals.

Even some Nintendo 3DS games from a couple of years ago have paper instruction booklets such as Fire Emblem Awakening.

Im 38, an old fart gamer and I miss the good old days of NES and Super Nintendo instruction manuals/booklets. Even old Playstation games RPG games like Legend of Dragoon and Legend of Legaia they have some nice instruction manuals
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Old 11-27-18, 01:34 AM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
It's not that they're redundant; it saves costs not having to design and print them, probably shipping costs as well. But they're needed more than ever now that I need to wait an hour before my game finishes installing off the disc.
Originally Posted by Gideon68 View Post
The game controls are also introduced during the intro of the game so there is no need for manuals anymore.
I'm sure printing cost is there too, but I still think they're redundant. Players don't need to look at them to learn how to play or control the game when it's all in game now or part of tutorials.
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Old 11-27-18, 06:12 AM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

They are definitely redundant. They serve no purpose other than nostalgia for older gamers who want everything to be like when they were children.
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Old 11-27-18, 06:46 AM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

Even when every game came with a manual and there were no in game tutorials, I never looked at a manual before playing a game. I actually get annoyed at my kids when they pick up a controller and ask, "How do I jump?" or something like that. I tell them hit some buttons and figure it out, lol.
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Old 12-01-18, 12:25 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

I remember manuals were good to read on the shitter. Lol.
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Old 12-07-18, 09:16 AM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

I swear there was something I played recently that had the game controls printed on the backside of the cover, which could be seen through the clear plastic of the case.
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Old 12-07-18, 09:57 AM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

The defunct Working Designs that was located in my city make hand down the best manuals for the Sega Saturn. Very colorful and pack with excellent info. Dragon Force is my favorite.
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Old 12-07-18, 01:15 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

I remember when PC games used manuals as a form of copy protection. The game would ask you a question from the manual before it would allow you to play. The workaround was easy: Photocopy the manual.
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Old 12-07-18, 02:09 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

Originally Posted by funkyryno View Post
I remember when PC games used manuals as a form of copy protection. The game would ask you a question from the manual before it would allow you to play. The workaround was easy: Photocopy the manual.
Some of my old PC games had a code wheel. You had to rotate the wheels to reveal a phrase.
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Old 12-07-18, 02:17 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

Weren't the PC manuals like really big at the time, not pamplets like console games were?
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Old 12-07-18, 02:28 PM
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Re: When did video games stop coming with instruction manuals?

Originally Posted by Defiant1 View Post
Some of my old PC games had a code wheel. You had to rotate the wheels to reveal a phrase.
Yeah, I remember some Sierra games having the red plastic film that you needed to uncover text.

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
Weren't the PC manuals like really big at the time, not pamplets like console games were?
I also remember the Civilization 2 manual being gigantic.
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