Benjamin Franklin once said the only things that are certain in life are death and taxes. Obviously, this was before the "Call of Duty" franchise existed, or the list would be death, taxes and "COD" sequels. So, it should come as no surprise to anyone that Activision is planning a fourth quarter "Call of Duty" title for 2013. And, since we just had the "Call of Duty: Black Ops 2" launch in November, it seems likely that the next installment in the billion-dollar franchise will be "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4."

Of course, this will put the "FPS" king awfully close to "GTA 5," leading to a head-to-head matchup for which game will be the biggest seller of 2013. Next gen systems obviously need to be factored in, and many fans are wondering if there will be next gen versions of these blockbusters for the Xbox 720 and Playstation 4. Since it's likely the next gen systems will be launched around November, it only makes sense for fans to want the year's hottest games on the year's newest consoles.

And, unlike "GTA," Activision has yet to officially confirm a release date for "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4." All we have to go is a statement to investors that says they plan on doing a game, but no specifics on which game they want to do or which system they want it on. It's worth noting that "Call of Duty 2" was a launch title for the Xbox 360 back in 2005, so the legacy for another launch title is there. And given the franchise's exclusivity deal with Microsoft, fans have to wonder if the PS4 will be the backseat console for fresh "COD" content once again.

One rumor that is particularly interesting surrounding the "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4" release date is the possibility it will be pre-sold as a digital download. According to the Examiner, Activision surveyed fans to gauge their interest in being able to pre-order "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 4" and download the full game before the release date. Preorder customers would get an activation code they could enter at midnight and start playing the game. I admit, this sounds like a good idea. But anyone who has ever had to deal with either Xbox LIVE or PSN knows these online services aren't exactly rock-solid, so it's hard to imagine the undedicated servers being able to handle 8 million plus gamers logging in at the stroke of midnight on the release date.

Hopefully, Activision will have some more details in the coming weeks, especially since Sony is expected to officially announce the PS4 on Feb. 20. Microsoft will likely announce the 720 shortly thereafter, and this year's E3 should give us plenty of information on all three.

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