Diablo 3 making its way to consoles is not a surprise. It’s been talked about for ages by people within the organization and like its PC release, it was just a matter of time. It’s new features however, may be surprising, but in a good way for PS3 and (eventual) PS4 owners.

During Sony’s big event last Wednesday where they offered an introduction to their next-gen home console, Activision was there to make PlayStation loyalists very happy with a pair of announcements. Not only are they helping Bungie bring one of the most anticipated games in Destiny to the PlayStation console after working exclusively for Microsoft’s Xbox brand for over a decade (see: Halo), but Blizzard – the other half of that company – is bringing what was once a PC-exclusive series, to the PlayStation 4 (& 3) as well, and it’s more than just a port.

On the official PlayStation blog Blizzard’s Co-Founder & Chief Development Officer Frank Pearce posted the following message to fans about the announcement.

“Now that Diablo’s out of the bag, I just want to say that we’re stoked to be bringing Diablo III over to PlayStation. We got our start in console games, and a bunch of us, myself included, have been looking forward to this day for a very long time.

We’re putting a lot of work into doing Diablo III right for PS3 and PS4. All of the upgrades we’ve made to the PC version since launch will be included. On top of that, we’re completely redeveloping the interface, controls, and camera so that the traditional Diablo hack-and-slash, loot-collecting, dungeon-crawl feels natural and fun with a controller in your hands.”

The PS3/PS4 version of Diablo 3 will be playable in just a few weeks and Blizzard brings it to PAX East in Boston. From the presentation in New York, we know that it’ll feature redesigned couch co-op play for up to four players. A few other key gameplay differences:

  • Players have direct control of the character (no point and click like the PC version)
  • New ‘Evade’ capability that lets players quickly dodge enemies and attacks.
  • Four players online and local.
  • No splitscreen, meaning the view will zoom out to fit all the players on the same screen.
  • Re-designed AI to let console players better manage the large amounts of loot and quickly compare.
  • Full 3D character models for players to see when equipping weapons and items.
  • Features the same content as the PC game, including all the updates (there are seven major updates so far).

Despite a series of controversies surrounding the super-long development time of the game, missing features at launch, an always-only requirement, the built-in real money auction house and the PvP delays and shortcomingsDiablo 3 was a game generally well-received by critics and it quickly became the fastest selling PC game ever. On the consoles, it’ll do extremely well, thought it seems unlikely to be a PlayStation exclusive as some first thought from the announcement during the PS4 event.

There’s no word on release dates but knowing Blizzard… and the property in question… expect a long wait. In chatting with BlizzPlanetGaming, s

Rob on Twitter @rob_keyes.

Sources: Blizzard (1, 2), PlayStation.Blog, GT.TV