I've been playing a lot of AC2 (it's much improved over the first Assassin's Creed). One of the interesting things about the game is the inclusion of a new Ubisoft service called Uplay
Uplay is essentially a parallel service to XBL or PSN.There's a lot of miscellaneous social networking crap built into the system (profiles, user icons, and the like). All of this is superfluous garbage.
The real key here is a studio has decided to open a competing service to the XBL and PSN marketplaces.
When you complete "events" in the game (similar to xbl achievements or psn trophies) you are awarded "units" which can be used to buy items on Uplay. Some of the AC2 items are: an exclusive map, upgraded knife belt, a dashboard theme, and a new outfit for Ezio.
One of the interesting things about this service is the way "units" are used. Each Uplay game will have enough "units" available to purchase all of the extras for that game. However if you don't want some of the extras, you can save the units to buy extras in another game, like the new Splinter Cell.
There are plans for a shop, so I can only imagine that "units" will be for sale soon.
Personally, I like the idea. This makes getting "units" (or achievements) worth something besides having a number on your profile. Also, I imagine that it gives studios a bit more latitude about adding game content without going through the Microsoft's or Sony's approval process.
There could be a downside. What if all large developers (think EA) decide to start their own services? If developers remove their content from XBL and PSN, what will happen to those services?