Activision on Tuesday announced Call of Duty Elite, a new social network-style experience that will allow Call of Duty players to interact with one another in an entirely different way. The social network has three pillars: connect, compete, and improve. “Connect” will allow users to compete against friends, join groups, find players with similar interests, and enter tournaments. Activision will provide both web and mobile interfaces for managing your Call of Duty information from multiple devices. “Compete” will allow players to enter events and competitions with other players that have similar abilities, and Activision promises real world and in-game prizes. “Improve,” will provide users with a strategy guide to help them bump their gaming skills by following their performance and ongoing statistics. “The average Call of Duty player spends 58 minutes per day playing multiplayer,” Activision Publishing CEO, Eric Hirshberg, said. “That is more than the average Facebook user spends per day on Facebook. And yet, right now, there are very few tools to unite and super charge that social community. Whether it’s allowing you to connect with your friends, or people of a similar skill level, people who live in your city, people who share your favorite passions, join competitive clans or social groups, or upload, view and comment on the incredible mass of player-generated content, or watch and comment on exclusive created content, Call of Duty Elite will give people more ways to connect with fellow players than ever before.” Most features will be free, although a premium package will also be available. The service will enter public beta with Call of Duty: Black Ops this summer and will launch on November 8th with Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Hit the jump for the full release and a demo video.
Research In Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook launched in U.S. and Canadian markets earlier today, and that is good news for RIM enthusiasts… that is unless you have AT&T. As many of you know, the PlayBook uses a small piece of software called BlackBerry Bridge to acquire cellular connectivity and provide messaging and other crucial PIM functionality — by transferring calendar, email, and contact data between a BlackBerry smartphone and the new tablet. So what’s the problem? It’s not officially supported by AT&T. On RIM’s official BlackBerry App World page, BlackBerry Bridge is listed with the following support status:
“Supported Carriers — All carriers except: AT&T”
Determined users have found unofficial ways to load the Bridge application onto AT&T BlackBerry smartphones, but the fact that RIM’s highly anticipated tablet offering is not yet officially supported by a major U.S. carrier is very disappointing. An AT&T spokesperson provided the following comment: “AT&T is working with RIM to make the BlackBerry Bridge app available for AT&T customers. We have just received the app for testing and before it’s made available to AT&T customers we want to ensure it delivers a quality experience for our customers.”
According to a report filed by CNET, social networking giant Facebook is “planning to launch a third-party commenting system in a matter of weeks.” The article cites “multiple sources familiar with the matter” and offers the recent hiring of both Nick Grudin and Andy Mitchell as additional evidence. While Facebook is already heavily integrated into the commenting systems of most major blogs, via Facebook Connect, it is not directly responsible for most commenting systems. “[The] Facebook commenting product may also permit users to log in with Google, Yahoo, or Twitter IDs if a publisher chooses to incorporate them,” writes a CNET source. The move does, in our opinion, make sense for the social networking site. Aside from padding its user base with those who sign-up just to comment, it would also allow it to build a more in-depth profile of its users by tracking what they are reading and inclined to comment on while online. What do you think of a Facebook driven commenting system? Yay or nay? More →
At the Le Web conference in Paris France, Facebook’s platform chief, Ethan Beard, told technology blog TechCrunch that his company’s Facebook Connect service now has 250 million users making monthly connections via third-party sites. Mr. Beard went on to note that 100 million of those users began using the Connect service within the past year and that Facebook is adding nearly 10,000 sites per day.
Do any of you utilize Facebook connect to authenticate to sites other than FB? Login with your Facebook account below to drop us a comment. More →
One of our Verizon Wireless sources has done a little digging for us, and we have turned up some awesome information. We exclusively reported that Verizon Wireless is gearing up to launch a barrage of Android handsets and devices, and we are now able to further clarify that report.
The Motorola DROID Pro, the handset with a 4″ display, 1.3GHz CPU, and global roaming capability gets the model number A957, and is set for a November launch. Motorola is also apparently working on a more business-focused version of the DROID 2 with a World Edition global roaming feature, and it looks like that device will launch relatively soon with the model number A956. If that’s not enough, it also appears that the phone will come in two color choices, black and white.
Moving on to the Motorola Android slab device — it’s listed and we’ve found the model designation — MZ600. We aren’t able to definitively confirm at this time whether this is the Motorola tablet (unlikely just yet) or just the slab form factor device we reported on (much more likely). If it’s the slab touch screen Android phone, it should launch with Android 2.2 and also be a World Edition handset. It looks like there are over 170,000 of those devices on order from what we can see.
As always, we’re working on following up on the rest of the leaked Verizon Wireless roadmap — Samsung and Motorola tablets, anyone? Couple more images after the break! More →
Thanks to a VZW tipster, we’ve been informed that Verizon Wireless stores are receiving regular shipments of the new Motorola DROID X. More →
We have been told by some Verizon Wireless sources that most stores are selling out of the Motorola DROID X, yet some are having activation issues. More →
We haven’t been able to independently confirm this one, but a T-Mobile tipster tells us that T-Mobile had the largest number of new activations on Saturday for their promotion. More →
One of our trusty Apple sources wrote us in to give us a breakdown on day one of Apple iPhone reservations. The information we have is from Apple stores only, this doesn’t include AT&T stores or Apple’s website, Best Buy or Radio Shack. We have also independently confirmed the information below.
- A “large” New York Apple store had over 2,200 iPhone reservations
- A “medium” sized Boston Apple store had over 800 reservations
- One store in California had over 1,000 reservations, and another in California had over 1,400
- A “small” Texas Apple store had over 900.
Note that these don’t include preorders, walk-in sales on launch day, or any white iPhones. So, it’s in addition to Apple’s 600,000 number. Can’t you tell how excited Apple is?
We don’t have too much information to go off of at this point in time, but we’ve been told by a Sprint source of ours that Sprint employees will begin training for a “slate”-type device on June 7th. More →
According to a highly placed source of ours, Verizon Wireless is currently testing Apple iPad devices on their network. We have been told that the model they are testing is a CDMA-compatible device, and while our source mentioned LTE in some capacity (possibly another model), we haven’t been able to independently confirm that part of it. It would appear like the gates of heaven have opened, as we’re probably going to see not only an iPhone but also iPad on Verizon very soon, huh?
We have just heard T-Mobile is going to begin testing UMA calling on Android devices starting in Q3 of this year. Finally.
We have just heard from one of our Verizon Wireless sources, and it is probably going to make BlackBerry lovers a wee bit happy. More →