Created by Ubisoft, SAM is designed to enhance your gameplay via tips, videos and witty game-based banter. The Ubisoft-exclusive digital assistant is currently in beta testing in Canada, with a larger rollout set for later this year. I had a chance to interact with SAM during a recent demo, and I'm honestly looking forward to using it.
Similar to other digital assistants, you can interact with SAM in one of two ways: voice or text in the Ubisoft Club mobile app. Once launched, SAM will check out your profile and latest game play and deliver information most relevant to your current progress. If you seem to be stuck at a certain part of a game, SAM will offer up Ubisoft-curated videos so you can figure out where you're going wrong. SAM will also suggest specific challenges and key stats depending on the game. You'll see some of this when you fire up a game of Rainbow Six: Siege.
Where SAM stands out is its gaming designation. Don't try asking it about the weather or restaurant recommendations -- you'll get no response. But what it lacks in real-world data, SAM makes up for with plenty of references to gaming culture. It's also not afraid to drop a gif or a meme in the name of the lulz.
I'm hoping that Ubisoft will smooth out the voice before launch since it sounds very robotic at this point, complete with all the unnatural starts and stops. And since the company chose the name SAM because it's gender-neutral, I'm hoping it will have male and female voices.
SAM isn't nosy like those other digital assistants -- it only activates when you interact with it in the Ubisoft app. That's good for gamers that have privacy concerns, but the main reason for this is so SAM doesn't inadvertently interfere with group chats, something that's vital for team play.
Overall, SAM is a good idea in execution, especially if it can help me when I'm banging my head against the wall in a game. But I'm hoping that Ubisoft will take it a step further and integrate SAM into a few games. If there's a Watch Dogs 3, that would be a great first run since the titles tend to come with companion apps. But SAM seems like one of the few digital assistants that I'd actually use.