Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 was announced yesterday for PS4, Xbox One and PC. However, that doesn't mean that older consoles will miss out on the futuristic shooter.
Treyarch and Activision were careful not to specifically mention the older consoles either way at the reveal event for Black Ops 3.
"We're working on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. That's it," studio head Mark Lamia told Eurogamer. The site's questions about last-gen consoles were referred to Activision, who had no additional platforms to announce "at this time."
It's possible that Activision will assign PS3 and Xbox 360 development for Black Ops 3 to another developer. They've been known to bring in additional developers to handle one or more ports. High Moon Studios developed the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of Advanced Warfare. Treyarch made the Wii U versions of Ghosts.
Why develop inferior versions of Black Ops 3 for nearly decade-old consoles? It may come down to player base of those consoles. Over 80 million PS3s and Xbox 360s were sold worldwide so those consoles' player bases still dwarf their successors'. The current generation's leader, the PlayStation 4, has sold about 20 million as of March 1st. Porting the game to PS3 and Xbox 360 would expand the potential customer base for Black Ops 3 by millions.
Activision's shown a willingness to support older platforms even when their successor's on the market, too. The most dramatic case was arguably Call of Duty: World at War. They released a PS2 version of WaW even though the PS3 had launched two years earlier. Call of Duty is such a huge franchise for them that they're willing to invest in ports for older hardware if they can get a healthy return on that investment.
What's surprising, though, is that Activision didn't just announce PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of Black Ops 3 if they're planning to develop them. That's either because they want the focus to be on the new-gen versions or because they haven't made a decision about last-gen versions yet. It's possible that they're calculating how much PS3 and Xbox 360 development would cost them and whether they'd be able to make that money back.
In the meantime, retailers are only accepting pre-orders for the PS4, Xbox One and PC editions of Black Ops 3. Reserving a copy of the game will get you access to the multiplayer beta. However, as the fine print on the beta site says, "actual platform availability" has yet to be determined.