Box art - Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War

Which COD: Black Ops Cold War editions are cross-gen?

Both Sony and Microsoft are touting cross-generation support with their upcoming next-gen consoles. Given enough time, all games will release for the latest hardware. But, while the tech is still fresh, many games will work for consoles both old and new. This leaves games like Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War in the middle ground, with some versions working for current-gen, some working for next-gen, and some working for both. Which Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War editions are cross-gen compatible? The answer is actually quite complicated.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War | Which editions are cross-gen compatible?

Call of Duty Black Ops Cold War - Which editions are cross-gen compatible?

Every digital edition of Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be cross-gen compatible. PS4 digital editions can be upgraded for PS5, and Xbox One editions can be upgraded for the Series X. However, when it comes to physical versions, only the PS4 version of Black Ops Cold War offers a cross-gen upgrade. The Xbox One physical version cannot be upgraded, but it will still work with the new hardware.

Confused yet? You’re not alone. Here’s a list of each different version of the game with details about their cross-gen upgrades and compatibility.

  • PS4 Standard digital can be upgraded to PS5 digital (software upgrade)
  • PS4 Standard physical can be upgraded to PS5 physical (backward compatibility and software upgrade)
  • PS5 Standard physical is not compatible with the PS4
  • PlayStation Cross-Gen Bundle includes both PS4 and PS5 digital versions
  • PlayStation Digital Ultimate Edition includes both PS4 and PS5 digital versions
  • Xbox One Standard digital can be upgraded to Series X digital
  • Xbox One Standard physical cannot be upgraded to next-gen, but will work in Series X
  • Xbox Series X Standard physical is compatible with Xbox One (disc will work with both systems)
  • Xbox Cross-Gen Bundle includes both Xbox One and Xbox Series X digital versions
  • Xbox Digital Ultimate Edition includes both Xbox One and Xbox Series X digital versions

What about all-digital next-gen consoles?

These compatibility concerns become even more complicated when you account for all-digital consoles, like the PS5 Digital Edition or the still-rumored Xbox Series S, codenamed Lockhart. The PS4-to-PS5 next-gen upgrade for physical versions rely on the disc to work, so if you buy the PS4 physical edition, you won’t be able to play the upgraded game on an all-digital PS5. To play on both systems, you’d need to either buy the PS4 digital edition and upgrade it, or purchase one of the digital bundles.

Likewise, the physical version for Xbox One won’t work on an all-digital console, assuming Microsoft actually releases one. The disc will work with both systems, but if your Series X doesn’t have a disc drive, you wouldn’t be able to use it. Again, you’d either need to buy digital and upgrade, or pick up one of the digital bundles.

Which Black Ops Cold War edition to buy if you want cross-gen support

Which Black Ops Cold War edition to buy for cross-gen support

If you want to be able to play Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War on both current- and next-gen hardware, you should consider one of the digital editions. Every standard digital version can be upgraded, and the digital bundles offer the game for both generations in the same console family. This will allow you to play the current-gen version day it releases, then continue playing when next-generation hardware launches.

If you prefer to buy your games on disc, then it’s safe to assume that you also prefer consoles with disc drives. If that’s case, you can’t go wrong with either physical current-gen version. The physical PS4 disc will run in a PS5 (though you’d need to download an upgrade), and the physical Xbox One disc will run in the Series X.