Call of Duty: Ghosts confirmed as cross-generational

Infinity Ward's upcoming shooter will release on PS3, Xbox 360, and PC November 5; next-gen versions also in the works; first-look taking place during Xbox 720 event May 21.

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The future of Call of Duty is coming into focus. Activision's Call of Duty: Ghosts will "raise the bar once again," ushering in the next generation of the franchise, according to the game's official announcement today.

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After a week of teases and hints, Activision revealed the game today, slating the Infinity Ward-produced shooter to hit Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC on November 5. No mention was made of a release for Wii U.

Versions of the game for unspecified next-generation consoles are also in the works, Activision said. It is not clear what differences there will be between the current- and next-generation iterations of Call of Duty: Ghosts.

According to other developers, making cross-generational games is ill-advised. The Witcher developer CD Projekt Red believes developing games for multiple console generations comes with compromises that can negatively affect gamers.

Call of Duty: Ghosts packs in an "all-new gameplay experience" built on a new story, setting, and cast of characters.

The game is powered by an unspecified next-generation engine that "redefines the series." Specific examples of how this will be achieved were not provided. According to Infinity Ward executive producer Mark Rubin, making the rumored Modern Warfare 4 would have been the easy decision, but the studio decided to instead try something new.

"Everyone was expecting us to make Modern Warfare 4, which would have been the safe thing to do. But we're not resting on our laurels," Rubin said in a statement. "We saw the console transition as the perfect opportunity to start a new chapter for Call of Duty. So we're building a new sub-brand, a new engine, and a lot of new ideas and experiences for our players. We can't wait to share them with our community."

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A live-action trailer for Call of Duty: Ghosts is available below. More footage from the game will be shown during Microsoft's Xbox 720 event on May 21. This presentation will be broadcast on Xbox.com, Xbox Live, and Spike TV.

Microsoft and Activision have long been partners, with Call of Duty downloadable content for current-generation entries coming first to Xbox 360. It is not clear if this partnership will be extended for Microsoft's next console.

Activision may be heralding Call of Duty: Ghosts as the future of the series, but the company does not believe this game will outsell Call of Duty: Black Ops II.

"There is increased volatility this year due to the ongoing console transition, which makes predicting the future more challenging than during normal years in the cycle. For Call of Duty, consistent with our past practices, we are planning for the mainline release in Q4 to be down versus 2012," Activision Blizzard CFO Dennis Durkin said during a post-earnings conference call in February.

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