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Today word got out that Activision will be launching a new subscription based service called Call of Duty Elite in conjunction with the launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 this fall. Activision is still trying to determine the right subscription pricing for the service which is said to “provide extra content that isn’t offered on game discs sold in stores, including downloadable map packs.”

Aside from extra content, Elite will also provide gamers with stat tracking tools that analyze their performance and tendencies in game, in hopes of directing the player to guides and tutorials on how to improve. “These can cover things like the best way to employ a certain weapon, pros and cons for their attachments, or how to make the best use of different perks. Video tutorials will also be part of the package.” Read more… »

Things have been rather quiet since the launch of Sony’s PlayStation Move controller, with fears that Microsoft’s hands-free Kinect device would steal the limelight. It’s encouraging, then, to hear from a new Sony press release that the controller has now managed to sell over 4.1 million units worldwide since its launch two months ago in the US, Europe and Asia and just one month ago in Japan, though this only includes the controller and camera bundle rather than the standalone controller.

Unsurprisingly, Sony are rather chuffed after previously downplaying the potential initial sales of Move and look ahead to 2011:  ”The number not only shows clear success of the launch of the new motion sensing controller but also indicates positive momentum going in to the holiday season and to the year 2011.

For comparison, Microsoft’s Kinect has sold 2.5 million during its first month. Begun, the motion war has.

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EA announces Battlefield Play4Free
By: | November 5th, 2010

Today EA announced that it will make a second attempt to capture the free-to-play audience with it’s upcoming first-person shooter Battlefield Play4Free (The first attempt being the failed Battlefield Heroes). Slated to arrive on the PC in spring 2011, Battlefield Play4Free mixes two of the series’ most critically acclaimed titles: Battlefield 2 and Battlefield: Bad Company 2.

According to the press release, Battlefield Play4Free combines “the most popular maps from Battlefield 2 with the familiar classes and powerful weapons of Battlefield: Bad Company.” Development of the game is being handled by EA’s Easy studio who also worked on Battlefield Heroes. Read more… »

It seems that now-a-days your game isn’t a triple-A title unless it has some sort of social media tie in. It should come as no surprise to gamers that EA’s next iteration of the Dragon Age series will be preceded by a Facebook minigame.

Dubbed Dragon Age Legends, this promotional strategy RPG is said to give gamers their “first taste” of the Free Marches, the setting of Dragon Age 2. According to EA 2D general manager Mark Spenner, “Dragon Age Legends will deliver a deep, sophisticated experience, and we will continue to delight gamers by adding new features and content far into the future.” Read more… »

Sony has announced today a new partnership with popular film subscription service LoveFilm (essentially the European version of Netflix), which will bring the service to the PS3 in the UK and other European territories this November.

As the above video demonstrates, the new service will be integrated into the XMB, allowing you to stream content from thousands of titles from major and independent studios with the option to narrow searches by film title, genre and actor. Additional categories including ‘Pick of the Week’, ‘Most Watched’ and ‘Highest Rated’ will also be available.

As an added incentive, LoveFilm also stated that free trials will be offered to PS3 users who are not currently members of the subscription service.

Read more… »

Today Blizzard Entertainment revealed that within the first month of it’s release, StartCraft II has sold three million copies. The crazy thing is, one million of those copies were sold on launch day. What’s even crazier is that half of the three million were sold within the first 48 hours of release, setting “the record for fastest-selling strategy game of all time.”

Blizzard CEO Mike Morhaime said, “We appreciate all the enthusiasm that players around the world have shown for StarCraft II. It was important to us to deliver an overall gameplay experience that was accessible, balanced, and fun, and it’s been gratifying to see how strongly the global community has already embraced the game.” Read more… »

Today Microsoft announced, via Larry “Major Nelson” Hryb, that it will increase subscription prices for Xbox Live Gold. According to the announcement, these price hikes will go into effect November 1, 2010.

In the U.S., the prices will increase as follows:
1M Gold:  $7.99 -> 1M Gold:  $9.99
3M Gold:  $19.99 -> 3M Gold:  $24.99
12M Gold:  $49.99 -> 12M Gold:  $59.99 Read more… »

If you live in or around New York City, you’ll definitely want to mark your calendar for October 20th, as the city will get to experience a one-of-a-kind event for those of us who love music and video games. CMJ Play, an event in the CMJ Music Marathon and Film Festival, will give attendees a deep look into the new landscape of the music business, which involves video games as much as (if not more than) it does MP3 players and digital downloads.

If you’re not a current New Yorker or have no idea what CMJ is, you’ll want to check out the full news post. This event sounds pretty damn amazing.

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Today retail giant GameStop announced that it will acquire the indie game community site Kongregate in a deal that is expected to be signed on August 1. Kongregate, which “hosts 10 million monthly players who spend approximately 23 million hours per month on the site,” will to operate as a wholly-owned subsidiary.

According to the press release, “Acquiring Kongregate strengthens GameStop’s digital platform and its commitment to become the gaming aggregator of choice.” GameStop CEO J. Paul Raine added, “Kongregate advances GameStop’s digital strategy by providing a gaming platform for casual, mobile and browser games that can be promoted and played by our existing gamers.” Read more… »

Today brings some bad news for fans of the Driver games. Word got out the the fifth installment in the series, Driver: San Francisco, has been pushed back to Ubisoft’s fourth quarter (January to March 2011).

This news was discovered when some super sleuths combed though Ubisoft’s estimated sales report. According to the report, Driver: SF has been pushed back in order to avoid the “competitive market at Christmas.” Read more… »

Today Microsoft announced that it will be adding a Xbox Live Gold subscription plan geared toward families who share a single Xbox 360 Live account. Dubbed the ‘Xbox Live Gold Family Pack,’ the new plan allows up to four Gold memberships controlled by one primary account, who can distribute Microsoft Points and monitor online activity.

The Family Pack, which costs $99 annually, also promises “[e]xclusive family content and discounts.” Microsoft has this new bundle slated to arrive in November, the same month that Kinect is suppose to hit. Read more… »

Sony has just confirmed that the PlayStation Move will be granted a September release, coming to Europe September 15th, North America Setpebmer 19th and October21st for Japan.

There will be 15 – 20 titles available on launch, including: Socom 4, Time Crisis, Raising Storm, NBA 2k11, Ruse, Killzone 3, Singstar Dance, Echochrome 2, and Eyepet.

In addition, several price bundles were announced:

  • PlayStation Move will sell for $49.99, with a standalone navigation controller available for $29.99
  • Sports Champion bundle for $99.99
  • PlayStation Move with PS3 console, PS Eye camera and Sports Champion for $399.99.