Additional media coverage of the DiabloWikiDiablo 3 console appeared over the weekend, and there are some additional bits of info worth knowing, plus hands-on play reports.

    First of all, note that there will not be any form of Auction House for the Diablo 3 console game. From the first reports it wasn’t clear if there was no AH or just no RMAH, but it’s been made clear now that the Auction House will not be part of the console game. There will be less loot drops of junk, the game can be played full offline with character save files on your USB stick, and there’s no AH. I await half a dozen “finally how the game should have been!” comments.

    How does it play with the console controller, though? A dude from Kotaku says it’s actually better:

    Diablo III feels much, much better on a controller than it does on a mouse and keyboard. Put the pitchforks down, folks. I was skeptical too. I spent many, many hours in the demon-infested hells of Diablo II (and a few more with Diablo III), and for a while, I figured a console version would never work. When I think Diablo, I think “click, click, click.” But after just a few minutes with Diablo III on PS3—which trades the clicking for nudging, jiggling, and mashing—I almost wish this series had been built for controllers all along.

    I know. Blasphemy. Really, though, it feels like a different game: I hopped on a demo at PAX East this morning, loaded up a Demon Hunter, and wandered through one of the dungeons, flinging arrows and firing energy bolts as I danced my way around a mob of enemies. And it felt good. Surprisingly good.

    …The takeaway here is that you can move and attack simultaneously, instead of hammering your left mouse button to do just about everything. For a ranged attacker like the Demon Hunter, this is near-revolutionary. It feels graceful. Natural. More like you’re inhabiting your character and less like you’re guiding them from above.

    Some other notes from that piece and another one on Destructoid.

  • Ninja looting returns with multiplayer on the same machine, as all item drops are available to all players in the game, and without a split screen display you’re all right there in the same small area all the time. So the infamous couch gaming example may involve some sharp elbows, if sharing is not practiced. (Note that there are individual drops on the console if you’re playing online with strangers, just like the PC version.)
  • The game is virtually the same, as dev Matthew Berger explained, “It’s basically the same. Same XP gain, same enemies. The only tweak we made is since the screen is a little more zoomed in, we slightly changed enemy wave spawns. Boss battles were also changed, in a fun way to accommodate consoles. We did not need to compromise this version in any way”
  • Items on the ground show quality comparison info with up and down arrows, so you can judge if something’s an upgrade even before you pick it up. (Edit: Commenters note that items are still un’id’ed when they drop, so I’m not sure how this works with Rares/Legs.)
  • The console does not connect to Battle.net at all, and there’s no way to mix PC/Mac with console characters. All online play is done through the PlayStation Network, and character saves are handled on your end, via your cloud storage space or on your machine’s HD. You can write chars to a USB stick and take them to a friend’s house to play together.
  • There’s no release date yet, but Josh Mosqueira said, “Soon-ish.” Hopefully he made a little ™ sign in the air when he said it, to fit with Blizzard’s official stance on the word DiabloWikisoon.
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