The PlayStation 3 serves as the newest home for Blizzard Entertainment's Diablo 3, and we've got the gameplay footage to prove it.
Those of you currently attending the PAX East conference in Boston have the opportunity to be among the first people on the planet to experience the PlayStation 3 version of Diablo 3. Not wanting to neglect its fans too poor, lazy or antisocial to make the trip to the East Coast however, Blizzard Entertainment has just released footage of the game's PS3 incarnation and it's surprisingly attractive.
You'll find the vignette embedded at right, and I urge you to watch the entire thing before you continue. From here on out, it's all subjective impressions, so if you'd like to agree or disagree with my thoughts, I'd prefer you have a point of reference.
So, how does it look? Actually, not bad. Now don't me wrong, I won't claim that this version of Diablo 3 even remotely approaches the aesthetic quality seen on my laptop, but then again that machine cost more than ten times as much as a new PlayStation 3. What's impressive here is that by applying a relatively conservative amount of graphical downgrades, Blizzard's development team was able to create an incarnation of Diablo 3 that seemingly maintains the smooth, solid framerate necessary to keep players from dying repeatedly on the game's higher difficulty levels, where split-second timing and sharp reflexes are the only thing separating you from victory and a quick, one-shot death at the hands of even relatively common foes. When I say it looks "surprisingly good," know that that comes with the disclaimer "for a console game."
As I've yet to play Diablo 3 on the Playstation 3, I'll reserve final judgement until Blizzard sends a copy along, but this video seems promising for those gamers without access to a high-powered computer and a desire to slay the hordes of demonic creatures found in what remains of Sanctuary. Going purely by this clip, it should prove a viable alternative method to enjoy Diablo 3.
Now we just need Blizzard to detail how many of the game's seemingly computer-exclusive features will make the jump to the PlayStation 3. It's hypothetically possible that the game's Real Money Action House could appear in its console incarnation, but I sincerely doubt it. There are simply too many issues found on Sony's machine that would prevent such a thing, on top of all of the problems Blizzard faced in creating the RMAH in the first place. Blizzard, being Blizzard, has pegged this game with a release date of "it'll be done when it's done," so expect more information on the game to emerge whenever Blizzard feels like it.