Launch Guide

Everything you need to know about Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War's launch

Better free up space now. This game is huge.

Even next-gen can't stop Call of Duty from being so big. In a November 4 blog post from Activision, the publisher revealed the file sizes of the upcoming game Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War across various platforms. The publisher also revealed important pre-load details, allowing you to mark your calendars appropriately.

Not surprisingly, Black Ops Cold War takes up quite a bit of space. What's surprising is exactly how much space the game will take. Here's what you need to know.

When is the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War launch time?

Black Ops Cold War officially launches on Friday, November 13. This is a decent amount of time after the Xbox Series X|S and PlayStation 5 will have launched as well. But depending on your region, you might be able to access it Thursday night.

The game launches across all platforms in the United States at 9 p.m. Pacific time on Thursday, so that's the stroke of midnight on the east coast, or 12 a.m. Eastern on Friday.

Thankfully, anyone with a pre-order for the game will be able to preload.

Is there a Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War preload?

On November 4, Activision shared launch and pre-load details for Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War. The publisher detailed when pre-loading for Black Ops Cold War goes online — and to no one's surprise, current gen consoles are online now.

Here's the skinny on pre-load details broken down by console.

  • PlayStation 4 — Pre-loading began on November 6 at 12 a.m. Eastern
  • Xbox One — Pre-loading began on November 6 at 12 a.m. Eastern
  • PC — Pre-loading began on November 10 at 12 p.m. Eastern

As for next-gen consoles, pre-loading has already begun on the new Xbox Series X|S, while pre-loading for the PlayStation 5 will begin on November 12. An exact time for the PlayStation 5 is not known.

  • Xbox Series X|S — Pre-loading began on November 10.
  • PlayStation 5 — Pre-loading will begin on November 12

Activision further advises that gamers make sure their console is updated to the latest firmware before attempting to download the game.

'Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War'Activision

What is the Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War file size?

Activision has also already confirmed how much free space on your platform's hard drive you'll need in order to download Black Ops Cold War.

While previous generation consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One have a doable 93-95 GB requirement, it's platforms like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S that are eye-watering.

Eager Black Ops Cold War players will need the following available hard drive space.

  • PlayStation 4 — 95GB
  • Xbox One — 93GB
  • PlayStation 5 — 133 GB
  • Xbox Series X|S — 136 GB
  • PC — 125GB on ultra graphics; 35 GB for multiplayer only, 82 GB for full game

This isn't a huge leap from last year. When Call of Duty: Modern Warfare hit in 2019, it also required an equally beefy hard drive space, nearly 140 GB on Xbox One. Add-ons after launch also came in at large downloads in the range of an additional 50-60 gigabytes.

I Need My Space — On paper, the hard drive space of the Xbox Series X and PS5 are more than enough to accommodate Black Ops Cold War. The Series X has some 800 GB available (the system's operating system gobbles up about 200 gigs out of the 1 terabyte Microsoft advertises), but the Series S has only about 364 GB of usable space. So Black Ops Cold War alone will take up about half of that. Sony's PlayStation 5 meanwhile has an 825 GB, with about 700-plus actually available for games and content. So, there's space.

The problem is that you probably intend to play other games too, which will also eat up hard drive space. And Call of Duty is notorious for adding content that are also beefy. While Black Ops Cold War won't be a problem at launch, months from now you will have to make some hard choices as your gaming library gets bigger and available hard drive space gets smaller.

'Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War'Activision

Some good news is that Call of Duty allows segmented downloading. The game is divvied up into chunks, like campaign and multiplayer, and you can choose to delete these parts of the game to free up space. The above figures are what's needed in total. Complete the campaign and you can get rid of it, which will reduce the file size considerably.

But it is quite funny how the next generation of systems are here and the one element that hasn't seen an upgrade is hard drive space. While there will be third-party hard drive expansions, it is in its own way weird that the new consoles aren't coming with a terabyte of hard drive space minimum, with premium models raising the bar to two. Maybe someday — but that's not today.

Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War will be released November 13.

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