of the Call of Duty: Elite service was a strange one, with Activision quizzically granting disclosure exclusivity to financial publication The Wall Street Journal, who proceeded to run with the provocative headline "Call of Duty Targets a Monthly Fee", offering very little actual information about what the service itself would offer players and sparking misguided fears that we would be getting charged to play multiplayer.
Meanwhile, the many gaming publications that had also been privy to Elite's demonstration -- and wanted to tell us all what it actually is -- were left biting their collective tongues until NDAs were lifted. Obviously the monthly subscription is a big talking point, but we still don't have all the details on what that premium part of the service will offer, so that's all just speculation at this point.
What we do have however, is information on a whole bunch of the features that Call of Duty players will be getting for free from the new Call of Duty: Elite network.
Elite gives players an in-depth look at statistical details of their own performance and gameplay as well as that of the entire Call of Duty community. Elite also delivers a new level of social and community innovation for the Call of Duty franchise, by giving players better ways to connect and socialize with friends and rivals, both inside and outside our games. It also allows players of every level to improve their game with an intuitive suite of tools, and compete in tournaments for both real and in-game virtual prizes.
Read our in-depth preview
for all the details and our take on things and watch the trailer below (or here in HD
) for an example of the service's functions.
The Call of Duty: Elite service has now launched over at http://www.callofduty.com/elite
and will be open to beta testers with Call of Duty: Black Ops shortly in preparation for November's launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 or PC, Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.