The Evening Report: Past, Present, Future Edition

Today was filled with promises, passes and previews; one in particular caused a large chunk of the gaming community to reach for their pitchforks and axes. This edition of the The Evening Report will shed some light on the ongoing PSN saga, the new Rockstar Pass and Activision’s Call of Duty Elite program.

We might as well start with the elephant in the room, which rocked the blogosphere and Twitter late Monday evening. The Wall Street Journal revealed some limited information about Activision’s Call of Duty Elite program and how it will be integrated into COD: Black Ops and Modern Warfare 3. The vagueness caused a great deal of outcry from fans of the series and drew the ire of some prominent bloggers because of the poor handling of the exclusive story granted to the WSJ. The majority of the outlets, who had attended a special Activision event about last week outlining the program, had signed non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) with a timed embargo on the news in tow. More details were provided when the other outlets’ NDAs expired at 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The new Elite program aims to bring a four-pillar system to the series: Career, Connect, Compete and Improve. Activision officials said that some of the features of the new social program would be free, but others would require a premium membership. They also stated that the premium membership pricing structure hasn’t been established as of yet. The Elite beta program, which currently requires COD: Black Ops, has opened beta registration. Joystiq has a comprehensive breakdown of the new program.

Source: Joystiq

Sony officials announced that full PlayStation Network services and the PSN Store would be restored by the end of the week in the Americas, Europe/PAL territories and parts of Asia. PlayStation 3 gamers will finally be able to redeem all the codes and vouchers that have been piling up since the network went down more than a month ago, along with the “Welcome Back” package Sony had promised its users.

Source: PlayStation Blog

The team at Rockstar announced their Rockstar Pass today for L.A. Noire. The pass is pretty straight forward: it will allow players to pre-order the next four cases, in-game items and a pursuit challenge. The pass is being offered at a discounted price of $9.99 (PSN) and 800 Microsoft Points (360) until June 14, at which point it will increase to $12 (PSN) and 960 MSP (360). Players that grab the pass at the discounted price will end up saving 50 percent off the overall cost. The first two cases, The Naked City and A Slip of The Tongue, were released Tuesday.

Source: Giant Bomb