What are the differences between current and next-gen editions of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War?

No man should be left behind.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Image via Activision

With several next-gen titles rumored to feature more content than their current-gen counterparts, it’s a reasonable thought to wonder if the same will happen with Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. For those not diving into the new wave of consoles, the answer isn’t too heartbreaking. Most of what’s been revealed will be available to you. However, aside from visuals, next-gen users will be handed some major boosts during online play.

Benefits of being on next-gen

A game-changing listening experience

With what the developer calls the “Threat Priority Audio System,” next-gen exclusive 3D audio will help players have a clearer understanding of where footsteps and bullets are coming from at all times. According to Activision, the audio assisting doesn’t stop there as “directional bullet cracks and bullet impacts let you know where the highest threats are located.”

Control and visual improvements

We don’t know its impact yet, but Black Ops Cold War will be enabling the Haptic Feedback settings on the PS5’s DualSense controller. The Haptic Feedback is said to include a variety of vibration patterns and add extra weight to certain button press. For instance, maybe we’ll know when guns run out of ammo when the triggers are a tad lighter than usual.

Thanks to specs and ray-tracing, the next level of gaming will supply better lighting and shadow effects in the game. Loading times will also be significantly reduced, so loading into lobbies will be less of a pain than its been this last decade or so.

The Good and bad of playing on current-gen

The good: cross-generation play

The good news is that those sticking to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One won’t be missing out on any content. Treyarch revealed that all modes in the game will allow cross-play with any platform the game releases on – especially the Xbox Series consoles and PS5. So, whether it’s Team Deathmatch or Zombies Mode, you’ll be enjoying the same features with those on next-generation platforms.

The bad: next-gen players are more likely to know when you’re nearby

There should be a concern for the effects that the next-gen’s 3D audio may have on competitive cross-play. As these editions will do a better job of indicating where certain sounds are coming from, current-gen players may be forced into using quieter equipment to ensure they’re silent to those with a leg up.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be releasing on November 13 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC. It’s unknown when next-gen versions will drop, but fans can now pre-order a current version’s variant with a next-gen copy included.