E3 2011: Call of Duty: Elite beta begins July 14

Activision opening invite-only testing window for military shooter's new online platform next month; GameStop's Modern Warfare 3 preorders tracking ahead of Black Ops.

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LOS ANGELES--Activision plans to roll out Call of Duty's new online platform, Elite, alongside Modern Warfare 3 this November. But before Elite deploys, Activision has plans to put the service through boot camp.

Elite will be reporting to boot camp on July 14.
Elite will be reporting to boot camp on July 14.

As part of the Electronic Entertainment Expo today, Activision said that it will hold an invitation-only beta test for Call of Duty: Elite. The beta period is expected to begin on July 14, and gamers will be able to access it through their copies of Call of Duty: Black Ops. Those interested in participating in the beta program can sign up through the service's website.

Activision also noted that in the five days since Call of Duty: Elite was announced, more than 1 million gamers have registered to participate in its beta. The service itself incorporates both free and premium features aimed at enhancing Call of Duty's online multiplayer experience. More details can be found in GameSpot's previous coverage.

Elite wasn't the only Call of Duty-related update issued today. According to GameStop senior VP Bob McKenzie, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 preorders are tracking ahead of those for Black Ops, which was itself the most preordered game in the specialty retailer's history.

"Last year, Call of Duty: Black Ops became the most preordered title in our history," McKenzie said. "Already, this year, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 is significantly ahead of that pace."

Following the massive success that was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, the Treyarch-developed Black Ops currently holds the title for biggest entertainment launch in history. Released in November, the game's sales topped $650 million in its first five days of availability.

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