This year’s Call of Duty game will be available on both current-gen consoles (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) as well as next-gen consoles (PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X). The good news is that Activision and developers Treyarch and Raven Software will support cross-generation cross-play for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. Less comforting is the somewhat confusing upgrade path that Call of Duty players may face if they plan on purchasing Black Ops Cold War on a current-gen platform this November and later upgrading to the next-gen version.
Black Ops Cold War will be available in both physical and digital forms on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X. (The game is also coming to Windows PC, where it will be sold digitally through Battle.net.)
Players who purchase the standard physical version of Black Ops Cold War on PS4 will be able to upgrade to the PS5 version through the PlayStation Store (seemingly for a fee, since the standard next-gen version of the game costs $10 more than the standard current-gen version). However, if you want to play your physical PS4 copy of Black Ops Cold War on PS5 (with the next-gen upgrades), you’ll need to have the disc in the system. That means that if you’re in the market for the discless Digital Edition of the PlayStation 5, your Black Ops Cold War PS4 disc won’t let you upgrade.
Players who purchase the standard physical version of Black Ops Cold War on Xbox One won’t be able to upgrade to the Xbox Series X version, as PlayStation players can.
Both current generation versions (PlayStation 4 and Xbox One) will be playable on their respective next-generation console via backwards compatibility by inserting the disc into the console. But, the game will not include any of the next-generation features, such as higher framerate, hardware-based ray-tracing, faster load times, and more.
Activision will also sell physical versions of the game for PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X, for $69.99 each. For the Xbox Series X, that physical copy will be playable on both Xbox One and Xbox Series X. (A PS5 physical copy will not function on a PS4.)
The most straightforward way to play is probably the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War Cross-Gen Bundle. That digital package, which costs $69.99, will be available on current- and next-gen PlayStation and Xbox consoles.
Here’s Activision’s official description of the Cross-Gen Bundle for each platform from its Black Ops Cold War editions FAQ:
PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5: Purchase the Cross-Gen Bundle on PlayStation 4 and receive a digital entitlement to both the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 versions of the game. The PlayStation 4 version will download immediately to your console when Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War launches on November 13th. The PlayStation 5 version of the game will automatically become available for download from your account library once the PlayStation 5 launches later this year. If you purchase the Cross-Gen Bundle on PlayStation 5, you will also receive an entitlement to the PlayStation 4 version of the game.
Xbox One and Xbox Series X: Purchase the Cross-Gen Bundle on Xbox One and receive a digital entitlement to both the Xbox One and Xbox Series X versions of the game. The Xbox One version will download immediately to your console when Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War launches on November 13th. The Xbox Series X version of the game will automatically become available for download from your account library once the Xbox Series X launches later this year. If you purchase the Cross-Gen Bundle on Xbox Series X, you will also receive an entitlement to the Xbox One version of the game.
Activision is also selling a digital Ultimate Edition for $99.99, which includes the Cross-Gen Bundle and some extra digital goods, like a battle pass for Cold War’s first season, skins, blueprints, and more.
Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War is coming to PlayStation 4, Windows PC, and Xbox One on Nov. 13. PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X versions are expected to arrive when those consoles launch.
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