Jun 022011

Putting away our CoD Subscription snark for a moment, you may want to know that through Steam, a free to play, no strings attached weekend for Black Ops is available.  Simply go to this page here, install CoD Black Ops, and play your heart out until Sunday, 1PM PDT.  The multiplayer in Black Ops is entertaining for at least a weekend, so it’s not a bad idea if you want to check out the latest CoD.

While we’re chatting about CoD again, you can also sign up for free beta access subscription of CoD Elite here.  The good news for diehard CoD fans is the Elite subscription doesn’t take away anything you are used to getting for free (like multiplayer), it only adds new services, eventually for a price.  What I find interesting is that they took this long to tap into extra services for CoD, right around the time I’m hearing from many friends and gaming sources that people are starting to get tired of the recycled CoD formula year after year.  Had they unveiled Elite even one year ago, it probably would be a larger success than it could be now, as CoD seems to be approaching the downward side of its popularity arc.

Jun 022011

The PlayStation Store finally came back online late last night / early this morning.  Predictably, the service is getting hammered right now, so expect it to be slow and/or get random timeouts and obscure error messages as everyone scrambles to download stuff.  If you’re looking for the free stuff, it’s not up there quite yet, although they expect to post it up real “soon.”  For a reminder of the free games available to North American customers, check out our recap here with links to reviews and more info about each.

So now that the store is back up, what’s new to download?  Basically a ton of stuff, as Sony tries to catch up on the backlog of items publishers haven’t been able to sell for the past month and a half.  The list is way too long to detail here, so check out the full post on the PS blog.

A few suggestions would be:

  • Back to the Future episode 3 (now almost 2 episodes behind the PC/Mac version).
  • Redeem your L.A. Noire PS3 exclusive case and check out the Rockstar Pass for future DLC.
  • I will be definitely downloading the inFamous 2 demo, since I was a fan of the first one.
  • Any other code pack-ins from games you recently bought but haven’t been able to redeem.

I’d say skip the Red Faction Armageddon demo if you were a fan of Guerrilla.  After trying the demo on the 360,  it seems they took out everything that was fun about the last game and left us with a linear corridor shooter for Armageddon. Boo!

Expect a couple of store updates a week until Sony completely catches up on their backlog.  While quick updates are necessary to get everything back on track, it has to hurt the developers who now have their new releases buried in a pile of other content coming out at the same time.  Hopefully Sony will have appropriate compensation for those who make a living on the PS Store.