Infinity Ward’s creative strategist Robert Bowling has released the first image of the Hardened Edition for the studio’s upcoming title Modern Warfare 3. Bowling states that the Hardened Edition he holds in his hands is “literally on the factory line.” The release of special editions has become common place for Call of Duty games ever since Modern Warfare 2, for which Hardened and Prestige Editions were released.

Though we do not yet know the contents of the Modern Warfare 3 Hardened Edition, the Hardened and Prestige editions of past Call of Duty games may provide a clue. They have usually retailed for $79.99 and and $149.99 respectively, and like all Collector’s Editions, come packed with plenty of items for fans to enjoy.

The Modern Warfare 2 Hardened Edition, for instance, included a code to download the original Call of Duty, while the Black Ops Hardened Edition included a code for the Zombie maps for World at War. The Prestige Editions, meanwhile, usually include some sort of physical item, such as the RC Car for Black Ops or the Night Vision Goggles for Modern Warfare 2.

The Hardened and Prestige editions also usually feature different box art than the regular retail disc, as with the special editions of Black Ops that came in a steel case and featured a different color palette from its regular edition counter part.

Take a look at the Modern Warfare 3 Hardened Edition pic, and dream about what kinds of cool stuff might be packed in the box.Modern Warfare 3 Hardened Edition

Bowling claims that more details on the Modern Warfare 3 Hardened Edition will be revealed at Activision’s upcoming Call of Duty XP event. Until then, it’s time to start speculating. What do you think will be in the Hardened Edition? A code for Spec Ops levels? Character skins? A Ghost balaclava? An AR.Drone?

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 releases November 8, 2011 for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

Source: Twitter