This year's new Call of Duty will be the first to span the PS4 and Xbox One generation alongside the new consoles to come. With talk of free upgrades, potential next-gen price increases for games, and no pricing out for either the Xbox Series X or PS5 as of yet, the question of cross-gen purchases are top of mind. Activision is now the second company to charge a new, higher standard: on next-gen, Cold War costs $10 more.
Activision confirms that the Standard Edition of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will cost $69.99 for both PS5 and Xbox Series X on its official website. The Standard Edition versions for current-gen and PC will cost $59.99, as has been the norm for new releases over the past two console generations.
Those who're interested in carrying over their purchase for a PS4 or Xbox One to the corresponding next-gen console can either also pay the extra $10 upfront or wait until a later time. Activision is selling digital cross-gen bundles at $69.99 that will grant cross-gen access to the game for either Sony or Xbox consoles. Additionally, digital Standard Editions for both consoles will have the option of being upgraded to the corresponding next-gen consoles, but Activision hasn't provided pricing or other details on how this will work.
Xbox owners should be particularly careful with which version they buy if they're planning to upgrade to the newer console down the line. In an FAQ, Activision says it is currently evaluating how digital Standard purchases for Xbox One will obtain Xbox Series X upgrades and specifies that physical standard editions for Xbox One will not have an option for upgrading to a Series X version.
Cold War joins NBA 2K21 as the second prominent title that's nudging the regular price of big releases up by 10 dollars on the new consoles. Given that the $59.99 standard's been around for well over a decade and hasn't budged in light of inflation and development costs, it's easy to arrive at rationale for the increase. At the same time, lots of cross-gen titles debuting this year like Cyberpunk 2077 will embrace free upgrades, which may lead to more friction and confusion over pricing in the early days of the next generation.
Look to the example of Control's Ultimate Edition, which will come in $20 below standard for new buyers but represents a next-gen upcharge for current owners, and things begin to look even less consistent across the board for game pricing. The $69.99 price point may or may not stick with us in the long term, and Cold War's embrace of it could certainly influence that, but right now it's important to double check the pricing and upgrade rules for each new cross-gen title you pick up later this year.
For more on Black Ops Cold War, read Senior Editor Caty McCarthy's early look at its Raven Software-led campaign.