The Xbox and PlayStation versions of Diablo III won't be offering the PC version's Seasons gameplay mode or cross-system play.
Console gamers hoping to get the full Diablo III experience are in for a disappointment: non-computer versions of the game won't get the Seasons mode added in the 2.1 patch earlier this year. The reasoning, according to Diable III designer Kevin Martens, is the "difference in the ecosystems" between the PC and consoles; in other words, Seasons requires an always-online connection. "For seasonal conquests and things to be what they are, everyone has to be playing on the same leveled field," Martens told GameSpot. "That's a great example for something that doesn't work for consoles."
Martens also dropped another bummer regarding the console versions of Diablo III: cross-platform play is "definitely not possible at this point with this game." It's not terribly surprising that Xbox One owners won't be able to play online with PS4 owners, but fans had hoped for a more optimistic answer nonetheless. "We didn't build it that way, so the two ecosystems are closed. I'm trying to give you the most definitive, least PR answer there is, and that is no, we can't do that. What the Xbox and PlayStation networks do is different than what Battle.net does."
That may be the "definitive, least PR" response, but it's somewhat different from what Battlecry's Rich Vogel told our own Steven Bogos just days ago at PAX Australia. In Vogel's words, "Sony and Microsoft don't like crossplay... They want to keep everything in their own ecosystem. That's their walled garden."
However, the console versions do offer one advantage, according to Martens: being able to gift rare items, which isn't possible on the PC "given the history of it and the auction house and all that." So even if you can't play Diablo III with your buddies on another console or enjoy the Seasons content, you can at least send your friends some sweet rare loot.