With the footage of Blizzard‘s Diablo III causing a lot of talk about the game, the engine, the graphics, physics and characters. However, there hasn’t been much discussion about the possibility of seeing Diablo III on the Xbox360,Playstation 3, or other consoles.
I may eat my words, but I think we will see Diablo III on a game platform, particularly the 360 at release or within a year thereof.
There are a lot of reasons why I think a 360 port would make sense at this time for Blizzard
The Shrinking Desktop Market:
Increased market Insecurity in desktop gaming – game publishers are moving toward really sh*tty drm management which is turning off gamers, music listeners, video users, etc. Additionally, the hardware-upkeep to play games on the desktop are turning away some of the more casual desktop-gamers.
There is a lot of incompatibility issues creeping up on the market as well between various chip manufacturers, api developers, and operating systems that make even loading up some games a challenge. Refute any one of these points and you still have “google-able” stats showing that desktop software isn’t selling as much (but “software as a service” has seen a huge jump – hint hint wink wink).
The Technology is Portable:
XBOX360 is based on software technology (XNA) which makes it easy to port to/from the windows desktop environment. Basically, if a game is developed with DirectX in mind- it can be ported fairly easily to the XBOX360 (at least in theory).
In fact, I was reading up on the XBOX360 development tools, and it is mostly based on .NET and DirectX. Most of the compatibility already exists between the PC and the 360 platform.
If the work is already mostly complete for a Diablo III for the desktop – why not try to capture more market with minimal work by porting to a console?
The way I see it, it would be unethical to not fully utilize the work already completed and make the game available to a wider market. With the Vivendi / Activision combo, the resources exist to create a powerful distribution between the PC / Console gamers.
Lastly, the COO of Blizzard, Paul Sams, said in an interview that Diablo III could be seen on a console if the experience is right. If console players are willing to share their experience with PC players, then we may very well see a cross-platform Diablo III.
The only good reason that I see holding Blizzard back, is that by the time this is developed, the 360 will be on its way out, to be succeeded by the 720? Or maybe the 1440(sphere)?