In another interesting tidbit from an interview from Blizzcon, here’s the weakest Diablo III console denials we’ve yet heard from Blizzard employees. This time it was Christian Lichtner and Jason Bender replying to the question, and despite the title of this post, I don’t think you can call their reply a “denial.” They didn’t actually deny anything. Here’s the quote:
JB: I think it is suited to consoles. We’re definitely working, obviously, on the PC version. This is something that’s been brought up a lot about Diablo. It’s sort of an ongoing question. And I’m sure we would all love to play it on console, but right now, we’re just focused on what we’ve got in front of us. Who knows what the future holds? It’s hard to say.
CL: We have said in the past that Diablo’s one of the games that really would translate [to consoles] well.
We’ve long made jokes about the 7 hotkey system and simplification of Diablo III’s controls as design decisions influenced by an easy port to consoles. But we never really meant them as jokes, since Blizzard’s coy non-denial denials have always seemed like delays, rather than refutations.
In my opinion, they’ve always had Diablo III in mind as an eventual console title, and while I don’t think that goal has gimped the development or style of the game, it’s got to occupy some portion of the back of the developers’ minds. In a, “we could do feature X, but it’s something we’d have to work around or undo for the console version, so let’s find a way to fix that problem in advance.”
So what do you guys think? In past threads about this issue we’ve had a lot of the typical “dumbed down game features for thumb-mashing 7 y/o console players!” type of rhetoric, but back then we knew a lot less about Diablo III, and the console issue seemed more speculative. Now we know lots more about the game, and with discussion of the next gen Xbox packing a mouse and keyboard, and the idea of B.net 2.0 interfacing with consoles, it seems an almost inevitable fit.
Consoles have their good points, after all. They’re much more affordable than a gaming PC or Mac, and you can sprawl on the couch or in your favorite chair in front of a big screen TV rather than sitting hunched at your desk. Would you buy D3 on PC and on console, if you could access your same B.net characters on both?
Or do you not want, and this whole concept fills you with the same sort of soul-chilling dread you get when Bobby’s eyes are upon you?