Diablo III Will Have Better Graphics on the Xbox360?

It’s not uncommon that I read comments that leave me wondering, “not sure if stupid or trolling.” I don’t often get that feeling from actual articles though, so I’m honestly unsure what to think of this editorial from x360 Magazine.

PC gamers are always going on about how much better the graphics are on PC, but I’ve seen Diablo III in action and it’s no great shakes. It’s quite pretty, sure, but everything’s all small and fiddly and there’s text everywhere.

Diablo III’s visuals have been held back by two things. First, Blizzard knows that while the overall PC gaming market has shrunk since Diablo II, its own share of that audience has grown dramatically thanks to the success of World Of Warcraft, so the potential target market for Diablo III is huge if Blizzard can persuade WoW players to cross over.

…On 360 though, Diablo III will be a better looking game because Blizzard will cater to an audience hungry for blockbuster visuals and put off by the excessive use of maps and icons and text and zoomed out views and ugly stuff like that. And every 360 has the same graphics power so there won’t be any old ones holding the graphics back.

Yes, Blizzard aims to make their games accessible on a technical level, and doesn’t require us to buy cutting edge systems to play their games with a decent frame rate. But everything the guy critiques in the editorial is an option or an essential feature of the game. It’s an isometric view, not an FPS. You can turn up resolution to make the characters and monsters larger. You can turn off the display text. That most players turn those displays on proves that most players want that info to be displayed.

On the larger issue of consoles, I’ll actually be surprised if Blizzard makes D3 playable on the Xbox360 or PS3. Bliz is aiming for a DiabloWikiconsole version of Diablo III, but they don’t seem to be in any huge hurry, and I’m been assumed that’s because they know it won’t be real viable on the underpowered hardware of current consoles. Both the Xbox 360 and PS3 are near the end of their product runs, with next gen consoles under development, and those will be greatly more powerful and should make decent ports of PC titles quite a bit easier. Consider that the 360 was released in 2005 and the PS3 in 2006. How well would your computer from 8 years ago, which was probably a better box than the first editions of those consoles, run D3 today?

While visiting Runic Games last year to preview Torchlight 2, I talked to Travis Baldree about console ports, and he grew visibly exhausted as he remembered the process of porting TL1 to play on the Xbox. That aging machine has only 512MB RAM and from what Travis told me it was an incredible headache rewriting the game code to work on such an underpowered system. (The PS3 has just 256MB, while Diablo 3’s DiabloWikiminimum requirements are 1-2G RAM, depending on system and OS. 2G is recommended.)

Much more than any of the issues with modifying the UI to work without a mouse, the hard part for TL1 on the Xbox was making the game playable at all. After that conversation, I’m not at all surprised that there hasn’t been a word about a TL2 console version, since Travis (who is the lead developer as well as the lead programmer) seemed very uninterested in tackling those hardware problems again. Besides, the hefty rights fees console makers demand eat up almost all the profit for a lower-priced game like Torchlight, when sold as a console title.

As Diablo III has much higher DiabloWikisystem requirements than TL1 or TL2 (I can run TL1 or TL2 beta just fine on my non-gaming laptop, while the D3 beta crushed it to an unplayable slide show FPS.) I really don’t envision it showing up on either current console. With or without “maps and icons and text and zoomed out views and ugly stuff like that.”

E3 PS3 Announcement?

On the other hand, rumors are flying today that we might see a Diablo III on the PS3 announcement very soon, as E3 is about to kick off in LA.

None of them have any substance though, and they all just refer back to that Polish retailer rumor we posted last month.

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54 thoughts on “Diablo III Will Have Better Graphics on the Xbox360?

  1. I didn’t read the article yet, but I think I can just say a big fat NOPE before I’d read it.

    edit: Okay, I read it. The quoted better graphics part is.. quite intriguing, wouldn’t you agree?

  2. Blizz thinks it had its hands full dealing with the expectations of the PC crowd. HAHAHA!
    Wait till legions of 7 year old console kiddies realize what kind of game this is and how many assumed features it completely lacks, they will drive Blizz up the wall.

  3. Am I the only one that remembers that Diablo 1 was on the playstation? You just moved the “mouse cursor” with the D pad, and hit x to move. Wasn’t a big deal, kind of clunky.
    They are acting like this a new technology, and “has never been done before”
    Btw: It didn’t look much different than it did on the computer.

    • I remember running D1 on the PS – it was fun!  Supported two players on the same system with no network required.

  4. I don’t think a 360 or PS3 would have any problem running Diablo 3, from a graphical/frames per second point of view. Mass Effect 3 is a good example of a game with tougher system requirements than D3 that the 360 can play just fine.

  5. “there’s text everywhere.”
    It’s a sad day in the life of intelligent people when this is considered a bad thing in a video game. Ha, what a numbhead.

  6. I have always felt that the reason they changed the PC menus to the interesting (or awful depending on who you are) way they are now, was so that they would work with a console if they ever did decide to port to one. With the old layout you saw everything which was totally fine, so long as you had a mouse. With the new layout, it would seem that you could easily port it over to work with a controller with way less hassle, and without trying to turn the analog stick into a cursor jockey. 

    But, better graphics on a console?


      • Really?  They sold 6.3M on the PC in the first week and you don’t think they are going to try to expand to every market possible?  I REALLY, REALLY hope you don’t make any executive decisions for any company. If you do, prepare for chapter 7.

        If I had to guess, they told the console team to “hurry it up” when they saw how many units moved so that they can tap new markets while they still have forward momentum.

        2013 console release.  You can quote that for truth. *bobbyeyes*

        Back on point, I see no reason why an xbox or ps3 can’t output this game at 720p @ 60fps considering the lack of AA and the unified hardware.  It’ll just be a pain in the butt to swap textures in and out of the piddly amount of system and video RAM.

      • You didn’t quote anything. Are you trying to make some sort of post-modern deconstructionist statement about the transient nature of objective reality here? I’m not sure this is the right website for that sort of philosophical mumbo-jumbo.

    • Blizzard already confirmed they are porting it to console…they confirmed it a long time ago.

  7. I have no doubt that D3 will look better on a console because they can design it to run on a set hardware spec, whereas on the PC they had to dumb it down a little bit to be able to cater to a wider audience.

    • I don’t think you realize what kind of hardware is in an Xbox. Its worse than 5 year old PC’s…

      • Hey, I’m no champion of consoles.  Far from it, I prefer (and build) PCs …that said, you should check out the games shown at today’s E3 xBox 360 event.  

        Not bad for 5 year old hardware.

    • There is some known as graphic setting in PC games. No reason to “dumb down” the highest setting, when you have lower settings.

    • The fact that NO game that has existed on a console and PC has ever had better graphics on the console should be a hint.  Many people running consoles don’t have a current high definition TV (part of the appeal of a console over a pc is the price), and if you’re using a 720p HD TV your resolution is barely better than that of Diablo 2’s expansion.

  8. Consoles have shit hardware, so there’s no way any game can look better on a console.

  9. I’m not convinced Blizzard will aim for next-gen consoles only with D3. Keep in mind how they kept low profile on the pc graphics for accessibility in order to sell as many units as possible. Why limit their target audience on a group of next-gen users when they can also adress those people who already own this-gen consoles?

    And let’t be honest, some of those in-game models look damn crappy, like Dungeon-Keeper-2-from-1999-low-poly-crappy. I’d rather expect the new higher resolutions, anti-aliasing and their generous use of sprite particle effects to require some decent rendering tech. For all three of those, there are already reduction mechanisms in place in the pc version’s options menu.

    I’d be more suprised to see Blizzard signing up for getting their content licensed from other sources like the console platform providers. Considering how they insist on doing stuff their own way (see BlizzCon, digital downloads distribution, results of the StarCraft Ghost collaboration, etc.), I’d actually expect the Blizzard tech guys to be secrectly tinkering on the BattleBox, their very own exclusive console, in the HQ basement already.

    For console gamers, it might end up being a good thing to have Activision with their distribution channels in the boat. Otherwise, there would be no D3 on consoles – not before 2014.

  10. “while the overall PC gaming market has shrunk since Diablo II”  What a load of horseshit.

  11. I think the article can be read slightly differently in that you can turn all “that ugly stuff” off in D3 which apparently appeals to the console crowd.
    I also think that releasing D3 on the PS3/XBox360 is an incredibly foolish move and I doubt that Activision would consider it (especially given their long history with consoles), let alone Blizzard. The next Gen consoles are just around the corner and a big name title like D3 is exactly the kind of thing you put in a package deal to entice customers to buy the new console. That’s not even taking into account the “Only on Playstation” kind of marketing used to get people to upgrade their consoles.

  12. I think console plans have been swept faster that lightspeed after D3 became the fastest selling PC game of all time.

  13. Isn’t there like 1billion PC’s in the world, I don’t even think consoles are even half of that.  All this talk of PC gaming is dead is just talk.

    • There may be many PCs, but not all of those PCs are part of the PC gaming market.

      I don’t think PC gaming is dead, but I do realize that it’s not what it used to be. 

      • Actually, there are far more PC gamers, it’s just way, way more diverse; I mean, if you consider Farmville to be a game, that’s a few million more gamers right there. D3 has shown that the classic PC gaming market is alive and well. I don’t oppose the online only DRM in this case, because as wonky as Blizzards systems are, we at least got a good look at the PC gaming market and Blizzard isn’t going anywhere for a long time.
        On the plus side, unless you are looking at some crazy, poorly coded, titles like Skyrim, the PC tech market has done very well. You can easily run Skyrim at pretty decent settings on a 5-6 year old gaming PC. Maybe it’s gaming companies playing down to their audience, but only a few standout titles have really pushed the bar in since Intel graced us with the C2 duos. So, given that many older systems are perfectly capable of running some decent graphics, the PC market is huge, dwarfing every other platform except the mobile market.

        • The advent of Farmville and similar online-casual games is one of those things that makes the PC gaming world “not what it used to be.” 🙂 I didn’t necessarily say smaller…

          That said, do you have any statistics regarding the revenue of the PC gaming market versus the console gaming market? I would expect consoles to be making more money at present, and that’s generally the standard measure for the size of a market: not necessarily the number of buyers, but the amount they’re paying.

    • Yep the gaming market as a whole is growing, I think it fairer to say that the console market is a larger % of the pie than it was a few years ago but the numbers of all types have increased.

  14. This is a pretty terrible “editorial.”  It’s kinda sad that articles like this actually have any sort of visibility on the web.

  15. I have to disagree with the idea that current gen consoles are underpowered. The ps3 should be faster than most if not all personal desktops that were available at the time of its release, and an OS for a desktop significantly diminishes the speed of a computer compared to a console OS; though console OS are becoming more like computer OS every generation. I think D3 would run fine on both PS3 and xbox, but the bigger issue is control scheme. D3 is designed for a mouse, and while an analog stick works well for some attacks, albeit with less accuracy, it wouldn’t work well with others. Blizzard would have to either simplify the targeting of area-effect spells, or give console gamers some janky and slow extending cursor type of control.

      • What’s the point of this? If you have an issue with his comments, let us know what it is. Otherwise, don’t even bother posting. Either way, keep your ad hominems to yourself.

        • “The ps3 should be faster than most if not all personal desktops that were available at the time of its release”

          That right there is just one issue.  I find that EXTREMELY hard to believe, hence my post.  Have a problem with how I decided to post my thoughts?  Very rarely on these comments is there any real discussion if that’s what you’re trying to get at.  But guess what, you could yourself choose to not respond to my post and just move on, and keep your opinion to yourself. 

  16. Consoles have better graphics?  I’d love to see a console output 2560×1600 at a smooth 60 fps like I do on the PC and my 30″ display.  That won’t happen.  The best we’d see is 720p with no AA, and a terrible control system sans mouse, just like all console FPS games.

  17. Standard fare for the console specific magazines, target market is teens who have bought heavily in to the “console wars” and most of the articles will have some sort of anti-competition spin.

  18. No. Blizzard does not make console games.
    ‘I REALLY, REALLY hope you don’t make any executive decisions for any company.’
    And I’m really glad you do not work at Blizzard. I do not want to see this franchise destroyed in the name of $$$.

    • So selling an extra few million copies on consoles is going to destroy the franchise how exactly?  The PC game is already out.  There isn’t any fallout for a game that comes out on consoles in 2013 or later. 

      They already have 6 skills hotkeyed, simplified tooltips and non-elective mode for noobs, streamlined skill interface.  If anything, the game is already simplified.  You are just crying foul for the sake of it. 

      • The dynamic skill system is dynamite…. soooooo much better than those static old talent/skill trees we saw in all those old games.

        I agree that the introduction of this system could even develop further in future games, but the guy who invented this system …. Deserves a game design award.

        Brilliant design and a huge surprise after all those “dumb down” comments of forum trolls who …. Now stand in their underpants IF they can find the correct  “option” button in the options menu.:)

        That last one was made on purpose by Blizzard to fool these trolls, for that I am sure 🙂


      • There is a huge difference between simplified game mechanics and ‘how you control’ the game itself. If you think that you can play this game on Inferno using gamepad without changing how skills and difficulty works (thus changing it into a different game/gameplay), there is no way i can convince you that my concern is valid.

  19. You know … There IS a huge console market for this kind of dungeon crawling game.

    Diablo 3 would stand out of the crowd with all those FPS copies of copies of copies.

    I think though the graphics seen in Act 3 can not be handled by present day consoles who are 6 years old.

    We will see.


  20. After what we got with DII, it looks to me like D3 is a consolized version. I would not be surprised if some design decisions were made with consoles in mind. Yes, the present consoles are outdated, but to be fair, some of the games on the PS3 look pretty amazing, well, at least, Uncharted does, that’s the only series I own on the PS3.
    Now, I seem to be gaining bias against D3, I really tried, I put all 5 classes through Nightmare and I just can’t imagine playing the game anymore right now. That took a world of work. On the weekend I started a new, untwinked hybrid Zon on the D2 HC ladder and had 8 characters at level 72 and starting Hell by Sunday morning, Baal runs ftw and it was still more fun to me than D3 and I have done that, dozens of times already.
    So, maybe it’s not consolized and I am just biased, but something doesn’t work for me with D3 and I haven’t pinned it down yet.

  21. So Microsoft is going to allow their servers to connect to Bnet ? Seeing is believing…

    • Yep seeing is believing, that I think will be a sticking point along with the RMAH, as all the console makers will want their slice of the pie.

  22. I call bullshit.  If anything, the fact most people will be sitting 8feet away from the TV is the only thing that will “improve” the graphics.  

  23. Lol.  I play at 2560×1440 with MAXED everything.  Do THAT on an xbox.  Oh wait, they don’t make TVs with higher resolution than 1080P?  WAaaaa waaaaaa waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

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