So I was curious what people thought about this. Call of Duty and Battlefield took very different approaches this year with the launch of next gen consoles. Infinity Ward and Activision took the safe route, keeping the same engine and just putting him higher resolution everything. Next gen COD looks basically like a cleaner looking current gen COD. And from a gameplay standpoint very little if anything was done to make use of the new gen. Environments weren't more destructive, the player count in MP wasn't higher, and while levels were a bit bigger than in previous games, they definitely weren't on the same level as what Battlefield or Crysis are doing. But in playing it about as safe as humanly possible Activision ensured that Ghosts was fully functional on all platforms upon release. Obviously it had a smattering of bugs, but by and large Ghosts was no more or less polished than any previous entry in the franchise, despite hitting 3 more platforms than the last Infinity Ward game.
Battlefield 4 took the opposite approach. They tried pushing things to the limits with a game that took full advantage of next gen consoles with massive destructible environments in both single player and multiplayer, increased player counts, and stunning visuals. But that ambition came at a price, as the game was super buggy upon release and it has taken them nearly 5 months to get the game to an acceptable point and even now the game still has a fair share of bugs.
So my question is which approach did you prefer? Would you have liked a buggier but more ambitious Call of Duty? How about a safer but more functional Battlefield? In the end both games didn't live up to the quality of their predecessors but in the case of Call of Duty people weren't as disappointed I think because the game didn't give any reason to be especially hyped for it. EA on the other hand definitely oversold Battlefield 4 which caused players to be more upset. Or maybe people could just see a great game under the technical issues there.
And then we have Ubisoft that chose to miss the launch entirely with Watch Dogs. That means Watch Dogs will possibly be both ambitious and largely bug free, but I have a feeling a lot of people lost interest after the game missed launch. Normally I think almost anyone would say they would have preferred a six month delay to the mess that was Battlefield 4, considering it will likely finally be playable only after six months anyways. But Watch Dogs was a major launch title and its delay really hurt the launch of both the Xbone and PS4 and I have a feeling its sales will suffer because of it as well.
Personally, I think Activision took the smartest approach. Treyarch still has another year and a half to make Black Ops 3. That means they have plenty of time to get used to the hardware and develop an engine that works correctly on it. That means we'll likely get another mediocre Call of Duty this year, but if anything that makes Black Ops 3 have the potential to be a major comeback story for the series. Seems smart to me. They had a launch game but also saved their ace franchise from being tainted due to the issues that always come with a new console launch.