Editor’s note: Ryan Smith is a longtime gamer and freelance writer who lives in Raleigh, NC. A graduate of East Carolina University with a degree in business and marketing, he has written in the past for WRAL Tech Wire and GameArgus.com. He currently plays Xbox 360 and PC as well as Nintendo DS. For story ideas, tips and feedback, he can be reached via e-mail (ryannicksmith@gmail.com)

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – Today marks the beginning of the Battlefield 3 Open Beta on Origin for PC, Xbox360 and Playstation3. With Battlefield 3 and Modern Warfare 3 both right around the corner (Oct. 25 and Nov 8 respectively) both EA and Activision, as well as fans of both series, have been fighting over which will be better.

I find that argument to be illogical as Modern Warfare 3 will be an arcade style first person shooter, with smaller maps, quicker matches, higher frame rates and more reliance on twitch reactions. On the flip side, Battlefield 3 will put emphasis on vehicles, much larger maps, team cooperation and objective play and have a generally lower frame rate (especially on console).

So I plan on playing both of these titles, depending on which of the two genre of FPS I prefer at that moment. Back when Battlefield Bad Company 2 was out alongside Modern Warfare 2, my friend and I would literally switch back and forth between the two during the same play sessions. Once we had a long enough win streak on one to get bored, we would switch to the other until the same thing happened.

Ultimately the competition proved much higher in Modern Warfare than Bad Company so when combined with the much faster pace and different weapon selection, they both had big differences and warranted playing them both. So I will do the same thing this year, play them both, I am not a “fanboy” of either series, first person shooter action games don’t really elicit that kind of emotion from me, I play them online because it is fun.

So today I am going to hop onto the beta over at EA’s Battlefield 3 Website via EA’s Origin and get some early impressions of the latest installment in the famous FPS franchise.

In Other Gaming News

Rovio, Finnish developer of the all-time classic puzzle game “Angry Birds” available for just about everything now (originally iPhone and iOS devices) has announced that Angry Birds has been downloaded over 350 million times!

Not only that, but the game has only been out since Dec. 2009.

Mario, one of the greatest gaming franchises in history, has been around since 1983 and sold 262 million copies. So Angry Birds, in less than two years, has become more popular than Mario.

Of course Angry Birds is either free, or much cheaper than Mario games typically are and is an even more casual type of game, but really it just goes to show how successful App Store games can really be. In an age where not everyone has a mobile gaming device such as a Playstation Portable or a Nintendo DS, most people do however have phones. Most of those phones have app stores, with access to plenty of games to keep you occupied during boring daily routines.

As Angry Birds’ success shows, smart phones are one of the best ways to reach a mass audience with your game. Personally I have played a decent amount of Angry Birds during breaks at work or other downtime, sure it is fun but I don’t plan on going out to buy any Angry Bird merchandise anytime soon, although 2 million pieces are sold each month!

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