A new game director has been assigned to Diablo III, and his name is Josh Mosqueira. He took to Battle.net on Wednesday to introduce himself and assure fans that the version headed to the consoles, which ships for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on September 3, will retain the core essence of the original PC version. That's right: Blizzard said in a separate release on Thursday that the game is coming to Microsoft's current gaming box as well, no longer a PlayStation "exclusive" as seen back in Febraury.
"When I joined Blizzard, I was entrusted with the responsibility of helping to determine whether it would be possible to create a console version of Diablo III and working on what that might look like," he writes. "It was important to me that we retain that essential core that is Diablo—every player who has ever roamed the shadowy halls of Sanctuary's dungeons, hunting vile demons and looting their corpses, knows it well. My goal has been to help keep that core magic formula going strong with Diablo III, and to continue refining the game, initially for the console version, and now for the game as a whole."
The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions will cost $59.99, and select retailers in the U.S., Canada, Spanish-speaking Latin America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand are now taking pre-orders. The game will be fully localized in English, German, French, Latin American Spanish, European Spanish, Russian, Italian, Polish, and Brazilian Portuguese – info on additional languages will be released at a later date.
Blizzard said on Thursday that players who pre-order the console versions will get an exclusive in-game item, the Infernal Helm. Not only does it protect the character's noggin, but grants an experience point boost, accelerating their progression up the XP ladder. Certain retailers will also offer limited-edition pre-order bonuses as well, Blizzard said.
"The console versions of Diablo III have been custom-tailored for gamepad-driven action, with a dynamic camera perspective that puts your hero front and center, as well as an all-new user interface and an intuitive control system that make vanquishing evil feel like second nature," the company said.
Players can experience Diablo III alone, or alongside up to three others via same-screen local cooperative play or online over PlayStation Network or Xbox Live -- the game even supports parties composed of both local and online players. Too bad there's no cross-play with PC gamers too… that's silly talk, we know.
"We've built a solid foundation for the future of Diablo III and we're focused on staying true to the core essence of the game, while pushing boundaries to evolve gameplay in ways that will keep players like you excited," Mosqueira added. "We hope you'll agree that with each update, the game keeps getting better and better, and we're only just getting started."
For more information about pre-ordering the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 version, head here. We expect to hear more about the PlayStation 4 version – and possibly an Xbox One edition as well – next week during E3 2013 in Los Angeles.