IN DETAIL: Call of Duty Elite

Activision has at last detailed the mysterious premium Call of Duty: Elite service.

Going into public beta this summer, Elite will ship with November’s Modern Warfare 3. The service, as we know, has been developed by new Activision studio Beachhead though has also had input from Infinity Ward, Treyarch and Sledgehammer.

Also of importance is the fact that Elite is very much media agnostic. It will, as the publisher describes it, be available across four screens” – web, mobile, TV and console. For gaming it will be compatible with PS3, Xbox 360 and PC.

But what consumers will want to know is what elements of the service will be free and what will be charged for.

Many parts of Elite will be free to use, such as career groups and many of the social networking features. However, those who opt for the premium Elite membership and sign up for the monthly fee will get a host of extras, most notably early and full access to all in-game DLC.

No price has yet been put on Elite membership, though Activision has hinted that it will be less than any comparable gaming or entertainment service out there” – perhaps 5 a month or less. Non Elite members will still be able to purchase map packs as normal.

Elite was built from the group up to change the way our consumers experience multiplayer in all current and future Call of Duty games,” Activision’s European digital marketing director for Call of Duty digital product Mark Cox told MCV.

This is one of our most exciting and ambitious undertakings for Activision”

So, what of the features? Here’s a look at what to expect:

Career: Detailed player stats (kill to death ratio, time spent, favourite weapons, loadouts, level, saved screenshots and videos, personal bests, etc). Players can view results from recent matches, via timeline and map showing every kill and death (including location of killer/victim). Can compare directly with other players by searching for their gamertag.

Connect: Join groups based on interest. For example, search for ‘photography’ and you are automatically entered into a group with other players have the same interest. If the group doesn’t exist, Elite automatically creates it. You can then access Career stats for group members. Can also browse theatre mode and videos. Looking through most liked, most viewed, staff picks, most recent or any videos you are tagged in. MW3 will introduce clan support.

Compete: Regular events and competitions set up by developers, e.g. highest kill streak, screenshot or video competitions, etc. Prizes range from special emblems for your profile to COD merchandise, an iPad 2 and a Jeep Cherokee. MW3 will introduce group vs group competitions, clan vs clan, intra-clan competition and leagues.

Improve: Detailed information on every weapon, perk and map in the game, including tips, stats and video guides from pros. Maps show objective locations for different types of multiplayer mode. Shows more player stats (e.g. how many times people have used each kill streak bonus). After MW3, Elite will call on entire Call of Duty community to provide expertise and guidance.

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