While the Prestige Edition of the past Call of Duty iterations has always shipped with some sort of flashy piece of tech, it has always been more of a “I wish I could afford that” rather than a “I must have that” Collector’s Edition. This year, with Modern Warfare 3, Activision is forgoing the fancy doodads and keeping things simple by offering the regular retail version and the Hardened Edition, no Prestige Edition.

There’s probably a lot that went into this decision, including the Hardened Edition’s price ($99), but ultimately Activision must have found it unwise to add another SKU to the pile. That isn’t to say Modern Warfare 3 won’t be a big seller — pre-orders already have it pegged as bigger than Black Ops — but just that the company has a clearer focus this time around.

It’s true that the Hardened Edition ships with the most important components any Modern Warfare 3 player would need, a copy of the game and a one-year subscription to Call of Duty Elite, but sometimes getting that collectible trinket for your most anticipated game is exciting.

Some games, like Skyrim, prefer to give you fancy showpieces like a statuette, but the Call of Duty Prestige Editions have been known for delivering practical pieces of technology like an RC car of night vision goggles.  What Modern Warfare 3 might have shipped with we will never know, but one has to imagine it would have been awesome.

Yes, it might sadden some hopeful Modern Warfare 3 pre-order holders, but it shouldn’t detract from the quality of the game. There’s some interesting things being done on the multiplayer side of Modern Warfare 3, including the addition of the Spec Ops survival mode, that have us pretty intrigued, making the game worth checking out regardless of fancy Prestige Edition.

Are you disappointed that there won’t be a Modern Warfare 3 Prestige Edition? Why do you think Activsion chose to stick with just the Hardened Edition this year?

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

Source: Twitter