When it comes to juggernaut video game franchises, nothing tops Call of Duty.
So, obviously, it would be fitting that with everyone’s attention focused on Sony’s NGP, that Activision would announce a series entry for the handheld.
[Update: Check out Sony's Official Announcement Video to see the announcement for yourself!]
Activision representative, Philip Earl, took to the stage and announced that considering the ways the Call of Duty franchise has changed gaming, coupled with Sony's promise that the NGP will also change gaming, that it makes sense for the two to join forces.
"We believe that NGP will change the way people play games on the go, and what better way to prove that, than with Call of Duty. When considering the OLED screen, dual analog sticks, touch screens, and social connectivity options, the possibilities are endless."
While the Call of Duty formula has never deviated too far from a traditional control scheme, the NGP’s tech could drastically alter what gamers have grown accustomed to in the Call of Duty franchise. Packing both a touch screen and a rear touch pad, two joysticks, and an accelerometer, there is plenty of potential for a Call of Duty experience unlike anything gamers have seen before.
Furthermore, as Earl said, the ability to combine the social interactivity with such a successful franchise could be just the thing the US handheld market needs in order to get on the same level as the Japanese market. Also don’t forget that the NGP comes equipped with an electronic compass and a new feature called LiveArea that allows gamers to see who in their vicinity is playing what (it’s not like a gamer wanting to play what everyone else is playing didn’t already drive Call of Duty but this is going to push it to the next level).
However, the real question is: who will be developing this handheld Call of Duty title? With the remnants of Infinity Ward up to their necks in development and Sledgehammer Games not only assisting Infinity Ward but also working on their own entry, there remain only two options: Treyarch, developer of the biggest entertainment launch of 2010, Black Ops, could step in to take the franchise to the NGP market - or a completely new developer could be put to the task.
Either would deliver some fairly interesting results, but given Treyarch’s success with riffing on the formula, it might be better if they stuck to the console versions and a new tested handheld developer was brought in instead.
Regardless of who takes on the massive franchise's first handheld entry, this NGP version of Call of Duty is bound to sell like gangbusters - so start saving now for both the console and the game.
Would you be interested in playing a Call of Duty game on the NGP? What sort of game mechanics do you see being possible considering the various elements of the handheld? Who would you like to see develop this handheld Call of Duty?