Blizzard just recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of the PC hit Diablo III. While the game launched to a problematic and controversial start thanks to its always-online requirements and auction house schemes, the game is one of the best selling PC titles ever, selling well over 10 million units before 2012 even ended.
While an expansion is expected to be announced at the return of BlizzCon later this year, much of the focus recently has been on the development of the core game for its console debut. Blizzard confirmed Diablo 3′s upcoming console release while making a surprise appearance at Sony’s PlayStation 4 presentation back in February, confirming it for both PS3 and PS4, but as we all expected, it’s coming to Xbox as well.
Blizzard confirmed today the release date of Diablo 3 on current-gen systems. No, not you Wii or Wii U. Diablo 3 will hit PS3 and Xbox 360 on September 3rd, a good two months before the PS3 and Xbox One are expected to release, allowing them to double-tap the console gamer crowd during the console generation transition period.
While there’s no mention of it, it’s a certainty at this point that Blizzard will also have an Xbox One version of Diablo 3 as well. Pre-orders are now open for the PS3/Xbox 360 versions and players who opt to buy before release will get an exclusive item, the Infernal Helm, an item that grants an experience boost for the power levelers out there.
Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment:
“Playing Diablo III on a big screen with your friends brings a whole new level of intensity to the game, and with all of the control and interface adaptations we’ve made, it’s extremely fun to play on PS3 and Xbox 360. In addition to the fine-tuning we’ve done for the console versions, we’re also including major content and design updates we’ve made to the PC version over the past year, so players can expect an epic Diablo gaming experience when the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions launch in September.”
The console versions are not simply ports of the PC version. Every user interface and even the gameplay itself has been redesigned for the console gamer. The camera system has also been revamped with a new dynamic system that’ll keep all players on the same screen. Diablo 3 on consoles also supports local and online four-player co-op for some proper social gaming fun, and yes, you can mix and match online and local friends to form a party of four.
Diablo 3 is currently available on PC, releases for PS3 and Xbox 360 on September 3rd and PS4 (and likely Xbox One) later this holiday season.
Let me know on Twitter @rob_keyes if you’re going to play some Diablo 3 couch co-op!