Ever since it became a household name, the Call of Duty franchise has been associated with the Xbox brand. In lieu of true third-party exclusives, co-marketing partnerships have become increasingly important for platform holders, with Microsoft traditionally taking the lead in this area. The past couple of years have seen Sony fight back, though, with 2014 dominated by Watch Dogs and Destiny – two multiformat titles that are already being advertised as PlayStation 4 properties. Could the Japanese giant add the most popular first-person franchise on the planet to its portfolio, though?

It’s all speculation and hearsay for now, so take the following with a gigantic pinch of salt – but it’s possible that something may be bubbling behind closed doors. Supposed industry insider Pete Dodd breached the topic on NeoGAF this week, writing that publishers are currently “re-calibrating” based on the success of the manufacturer's new system, and that publisher “Activision is going to make an announcement about Call of Duty changing to the PS4 as lead platform” soon. It’s unclear whether that will encompass timed exclusive DLC like on the Xbox One, so we'll have to wait and see.

Of course, this isn’t the most rock solid source in the world, but there’s a reason that we haven’t tossed it in the rumour trash. Speculation coming out of last month’s retailer centric Destination PlayStation event in Arizona also suggested that Activision was in attendance – not just to show Bungie’s upcoming title, but also the next entry in the Call of Duty franchise. The presence of the release – which is in development at Sledgehammer Games – suggests that there’s certainly a chance that the sequel may be aligned with the PS4 this time around, which would be a massive coup for the console.

Again, none of this is set in stone, but assuming that Sony has wrestled the Call of Duty franchise out of Microsoft’s grasp, it would go a long way towards cementing its flying format as the mainstream machine of choice. The franchise’s appeal may be diminishing right now, but it’s still one of the best selling entertainment brands on the planet. If the platform holder can get its logo at the end of the next title’s trailers and commercials, then it’s certainly not going to hurt the system, is it? The only downside is that we’d have to endure one of the franchise’s famous E3 demos during the PlayStation press conference. Zzz.

[via neogaf.com, dualshockers.com, dualshockers.com]