The Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War pre-order pages reveal that you will need to purchase a special edition of the game in order to receive a next-gen upgrade.
Here’s how it will work according to the PlayStation Store’s pre-order page for the various editions of Cold War. If you purchase the $59.99 Standard Edition of the game for PlayStation 4 or Xbox One, you’ll receive access to the current-gen version of the game. You’ll also be able to play the PS4 version on PS5 and the Xbox One version on Xbox Series X via those consoles’ backward compatibility programs.
However, if you purchase the $69.99 “Cross-Gen Bundle” edition of the game, you’ll also gain access to the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of Cold War as soon as those are available (a press release states that they should be released by Holiday 2020). The $89.99 “Ultimate Edition” of Cold War also grants you access to the PS5 and Xbox Series X versions of the game (based on which current-gen version you purchase, of course) as well as a variety of pre-order goodies.
So what does this all mean? Well, no matter what version of Cold War you purchase, you’ll be able to play the game on next-gen consoles. However, only those who purchase the Ultimate Edition or Cross-Gen Bundle edition will be able to play the version of the game designed for next-gen consoles.
The missing component at the moment is any information on the next-gen versions of the game. While we can assume that they will benefit from technical upgrades, there’s really no way to tell whether or not they’ll offer any additional features which would incentivize you to pick them up over the current-gen editions. There’s also no word on how much the next-gen editions will cost if you choose to purchase them separately of the currently available pre-orders.
That being the case, this whole situation is a bit…odd. Right now, the biggest incentive for purchasing the next-gen versions of Cold War (or a bundle that allows you to access those versions) is the vague promise of technical upgrades and maybe some other minor features. While it’s nice to know you’ll be able to play some version of Cold War on next-gen consoles regardless of your selection, the idea of pre-ordering a more expensive version of the game just to unlock a next-gen edition that we don’t know much about requires a lot of faith.
We’ll be sure to keep you updated on the next-gen versions of Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War as soon as additional information becomes available.