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Tuesday September 6, 2011 1:57 pm

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 “Hardened Edition” details leak

Modern Warfare 3 hardened edition

Details are leaking out for the contents of the ultra-deluxe Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 "Hardened Edition," the fancy name for what amounts to the collector's version of the game, which you can pre-order now on Amazon. And the news doesn't come a moment too soon for rabid Call of Duty fans: According to new predictions from publisher Activision-Blizzard, the latest title in the series is expected to sell even more pre-sale copies than its previous versions.

It's not as if Activision-Blizzard has remained blind to the popularity of its first-person-shooter franchise, however. A brand-new subscription service is expected to be released alongside the November launch of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3. Dubbed, "Call of Duty: Elite," the service will give gamers the option for signing up for a free account or "premium" access to the service for the cost of $50 a year, or nearly the cash equivalent of one brand-new Call of Duty title.

So what's the point? According to Activision-Blizzard's official announcement for Elite, the online network will contain, "a wide range of state-of-the-art services, exclusive entertainment programming and all-inclusive game content for less than the cost of any comparable online entertainment service currently in the market."

While you might argue the value of map packs against, say, Netflix movies, gamers within Elite's premium tier won't just receive access to all of Modern Warfare's downloadable content. They'll also be able to tap into features like brand-new game analytics that give them additional statistics about their playing habits (be it kills by weapon type, or most popular map for dying, et cetera). That's in addition to a variety of new social options being built into Elite, including support for gaming clans, gaming groups, and Facebook integration.

Video-crazed gamers will be given increased storage space within Elite for capturing and storing their best Modern Warfare 3 moments. And film will gain access to all kinds of episodic content related to the Call of Duty franchise–including special strategy sessions for those looking to take their gaming sessions from lots of dying to a meager amount of killing.

Modern Warfare's "Hardened Edition" of the game set gamers back $100, but the price is offset by its inclusion of a year of free access to the premium tier of Call of Duty: Elite. That's based on a advertisement for the Eurpoean version of the title that was leaked to Wired.com, so there is the possibility that the American version of the Hardened Edition's bonuses might differ.

According to the ad, those picking up the Hardened Edition will also gain "Founder status" within Elite, which comes with benefits like experience bonuses during gameplay, special in-game emblems to wear, and a fancier player card within the service. That's in addition to the hulking steel case that Hardened Edition uses to contain one's actual game–a great place to store one's pennies for when Elite's annual fee renewal comes up.

This article, written by David Murphy, originally appeared on PCMag.com and is republished on Gear Live with the permission of Ziff Davis, Inc.

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