Hands-On: Call of Duty's "Elite" Online Service

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Hands-On: <em>Call of Duty</em>'s "Elite" Online Service

"Four or five years ago, it would have been easy to describe a Call of Duty gamer,” said Activision VP of Digital Jamie Berger. “That's changed."&nbsp; Berger was speaking at the San Francisco unveiling of Call of Duty Elite, Activision's upcoming social media network. In Berger’s words, Elite will be “a new vector of innovation for the Call of Duty franchise.”

System-wide stat-tracking and leaderboards fall under the “Compete,” tab, which will open the door for ongoing player-created and Activision-sponsored competitions. As if bragging rights weren’t enough of a motivator, official competitions will now offer real-world prizes —&nbsp;the rewards on display included a $20 Starbucks' gift card and a brand-new Jeep.

The service keeps track of a player's career through three tabbed subcategories —&nbsp;"Connect," "Compete," and "Improve" and an be accessed via web, mobile device or game console.

The “Connect” tab allows players on all game platforms to find one another via social networking sites like Facebook and to organize into groups and clans. Players can create custom leaderboards and form their own discussion threads, as well as upload, tag and comment upon videos via Call of Duty’s integrated theater.