Next month marks the launch of the highly-anticipated Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War, but there will be two different versions of the game on store shelves for Xbox, and they literally look almost identical.
One of the issues here is that Call of Duty isn't utilising the Xbox Smart Delivery feature for a free next-gen upgrade on Xbox Series X/S, so instead Activision is offering two different versions in physical form - one specifically for Xbox One, and one for the new Xbox Series X, which also includes the Xbox One version.
To make things worse, the Xbox One box actually advertises the Xbox Series X due to the game also being playable via backwards compatibility on the new system, so anyone could easily get these two versions mixed up.
You can always buy the game digitally instead, of course, which makes things a little clearer. But for the casual consumer looking for a copy of the new Call of Duty this Christmas, there's plenty of confusion ahead...
How would you differentiate between the two versions? Give us your suggestions below.
Yeah this is terrible. They should make a new box design for Series X optimised games or a different colour scheme at least.
One small sticker on the top right is definitely not enough (or even clear enough) for the casual consumer.
That's just ridiculous. Hopefully this won't happen too frequently or Microsoft really will have a job on their hands not confusing the hell out of consumers.
I don't buy games physically but I definitely feel bad for people who do or people buying gifts that have to sort through all this.
Wow.. that’s a really bad decision. That’s going to confuse some people. I believe the Series X version is more expensive? I ordered this for my nephews and the One version was $60 but the upgraded Series X/ one version was $70
Very confusing indeed. A lot of parents will be buying this game for their kids for Christmas so I can definitely see them picking up the wrong version. I’m not surprised Activision isn’t utilising Xbox Smart Delivery because you know it’s Activision being their greedy selfs.
So it’s $10 extra to get the optimized version? That makes sense, I guess. Do we know if you can just buy it as a $10 digital add on if you get the base version? That would mostly eliminate the issue and be more consumer-friendly.
Thankfully, this won’t be a problem in a year.
More terrible marketing from Microsoft going into this gen.
Yeah get used to it, blame Microsoft and the idiots that moaned about the enhanced for Series X logos being too big! It’s ridiculous, try asking a relative for a game as a present and see what you get.. gotta give it to Sony with a big white band at the top and a simple ‘PS5’ in it couldn’t make it any easier!
Hopefully the game stop partnership will mean the cashier will be asking if they want the old system version or the new series x? Won't effect me but o do see some people buying the wrong ones in the holiday blitz
This is Activision, not MS.
MS have the Smart Delivery feature there for publishers.
Activision selected not to use it and to charge. This is the result.
I feel like we all knew something like this would happen at least for the first batch of games
@blinx01 Microsoft design the box layouts in relation to where series X, Xbox One, etc are laid out and decided not to mandate smart delivery. But the former is more important in this case.
It's almost as if that big green "Optimised for Xbox Series X" sticker that was removed because everyone moaned about it was a terrific idea.
Seriously they couldn't think of any better way to do this.. Absurd
This is embarassing 🤧
Microsoft can provide new box design as simple as changing the green background to black and change 'ONE' to 'SERIES'. Or just do the latter for even more simplicity.
This is called anti-Smart Delivery.
@Chimera_Police Microsoft do not allow companies to sell digital paid "next gen upgrade dlc"
That's brutal. They should have made smart delivery mandatory or at least not allow Series X to be listed on backwards compatible titles.
They would be the same because there’s no difference between them, Check out the WRC9 game. The disk will be exactly the same and playable on both
That compagny... I'm speechless. Really, I am.
Terrible. The solution, do not buy the game.
You would think they would make this clearer as they want people to buy the next gen version as it costs a tad more rather than buy the cheaper version?
I still don't understand this at all. Why would anyone buy the Xbox One only version?
I mean, they gave us the first established box art change since the ESRB came about with the whole giant series x logo. Why not a second one as well to fix this?
This is what all games that don't support smart delivery but has a Series X version looks like.
Its not the clearest - although its still relatively obvious to me at a quick glance which one is the Series X version compared to the current gen. I can see how confusing and misleading it would be to someone who maybe only sees one cover so can't compare or maybe someone who isn't a gamer.
Personally, I think that they shouldn't say Series S/X at all if the ONLY option is playable through Backwards Compatibility. The fact that the Series S/X is fully BC with ALL Xbox One games (except those Kinect games) should be enough to tell people that the game WILL run on the Series S/X anyway.
At least they don't have that massive green logo - although that does make it very clear as to which games will offer Series S/X versions. I guess that's the price for complaining about that Logo.
Another option would be to put a bar across the back stating This game will run on Series S/X via Backwards Compatibility
I do think its very misleading to put any reference to Series S/X on the front cover IF its not being enhanced specifically for it. I have no issue with information on the back and no doubt it will benefit from the boost in resources that Back Compat offers. I would be surprised if it runs at a 'locked' resolution and/or frame rate on current generation but with the boost, it may look and/or run better - but again that doesn't need to be on the front cover as that is generic across all Xbox One games on Series S/X. The ONLY time Series S/X should be mentioned on the front should be when gamers are actually getting a Series S/X version with that disc.
This is horrible..
The returns and refunds in January are going to be full of these, bought for the wrong system.
Instead of arguing about boxes, we should really be arguing that Activision seems to be the only publisher short of the 505 Control debacle refusing to use Smart Delivery, the entire point of which is to avoid this very problem. With XSeries there shouldn't be any situation with "versions" - you should just buy the game and whatever the best version for your hardware is, that's what you get. It's absurd that Activision is doing this at all, really. At least 505 found some way to play mental Twister to arrive at the Sony "Gamename: Remastered" solution that "it's a totally different game not available on the old platform" with Control: Ultimate Edition.
Activision is the only example I'm aware of that's actually selling two separate editions on Series vs X1. The boxes are not designed for Activision's whims.
Maybe they have a reason such as cross-play on like-hardware, or incompatible network infrastructures for the two editions or something. But their setup here is seriously weird.
Even EA gets it. How bad does Kotick have to be to make Activision substantially worse than EA?
This is fcking terrible. Can only be intended, this stupidity, right?
This is Activision's fault. An upgrade option should be available, even if it's not free and costs 10 more like the Series X/S version. You insert the Xbox One on Series X/S, you start a new file and the system asks, "Would you like to upgrade to the Series X/S version or would you like to play the Xbox One version? Press A to visit the store and upgrade your copy to Series X/S. Press B to play the Xbox One version". It's very disappointing to buy or receive the Xbox One version as a present and not being able to upgrade.
Simple solution. Avoid the copy and paste game that is CoD, the madden of shooters.
@Kalvort there IS a different box for Series X, Activision just wants to capitalize on every ounce of hype and stamping "series x" on all copies.
An Xbox one game should just use the same box as all see today. Listing Series X should only happen for games that provide some path to free upgrade, be it smart delivery or whatever the publisher wants to do.
MS really should had put their foot down and said "no".
@AJDarkstar because at the end of the day they are afraid about charging $10 more and that cutting their sales short. This way, anyone that refuses to pay the premium still has "the option" to buy the Xbox One Version that is disguised as Smart Delivery.
@AJDarkstar I don't think that's a certainty. The higher price will deter some people, or make people that would buy a $60 game wait for a price cut instead of buying it for $70.
They really want to mitigate that, even if it causes confusion.
At the end of the day, worst case, someone accidentally buys the XBox One version, but wanted the Series X version and potentially ends up buying the game twice (a win for them.)
Activison have made this confusing, not Microsoft. I don't have any confusion with any other Xbox packaging. If this game supported game smart delivery like 90% of the other new games this wouldn't be an issue.
@blinx01 Microsoft made Smart Delivery optional and designed the branding.
This is not on Microsoft (though this would hurt the image), but on Activision refusing to incorporate smart delivery, and instead promote a borderline predatory delivery which will absolutely make money from the confusion of their packaging.
Why not just remove all mention of Series X from the Xbox One version? Surely that instantly clears all of this up
Has anyone considered this mess is all Activision fault for not just using Smart delivery on this game . Well since they like selling game modes as exclusivity . To hell hope this hurts their bottom line .
Sooo... why not sell the right one only? Since that's playable on both. Problem solved, right? Why have a separate Xbox One version that can be played on Series X through BC, but doesn't have the benefits of the next gen system. Doesn't make any sense to me.
Activision are in the wrong here not Microsoft. Clearly Activision are trying to make more money by forcing people to buy the same game twice. Which is appalling.
I do wonder if the price is the same for both versions.
Nope it is not:
XBOX Series version: https://www.nedgame.nl/xbox-series-s-x/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war/9991726938/ € 74,99
XBOX One version: https://www.nedgame.nl/xbox-one/call-of-duty-black-ops-cold-war/7779685528/ € 64,99
They simply should not refer to Series X on the One version. Job done!
However I also spot two more issues.
First it states Series X, no mention of S. More confusion for non gamer gift buyers.
Second, the marketing blurb that's there for clarity (haha) states both games on the disc. No way is that true! No doubt they will require a sizeable download for both versions. It actually does state content download is required on the box, contradictory infomation.
All this makes me even more glad I'm a digital guy.
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