Diablo III on the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4

A guide to the console versions of Diablo III, for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4

Diablo III is coming to the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4! This guide covers all the details for the console development that have been revealed so far. There will be a huge amount of new information from the PAX East event this weekend, March 22-24 in Boston, MA. This guide will be updated regularly during that event, and in the coming weeks and months as more information is released about Diablo III for the PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.

Last update to this guide: March 21, 2013

Diablo III at PAX East

Index for Diablo III on PlayStation Consoles
Diablo III for PlayStation 3 Gameplay
All Diablo, All Console
The console version of Diablo III for PlayStation 3 will have the latest patches and big features from the PC version, including Paragon levels, loads of epic Legendary items, the Infernal Machine event, Monster Power, Brawling, and more. There are many parts of the game that have been adjusted to fit better within a console gameplay experience: much of the user interface, the controls within the game, and the camera angles have been overhauled to make the game easier to approach on the PlayStation 3. Once the Diablo III console development team moves on to the PlayStation 4 version, they will make further adjustments to take advantage of the new features on that console, compared to the PS3 or PC versions.
User Interface
The PlayStation 3 version of Diablo III has a dramatically overhauled version of the user interface. The PS3 version doesn't have the paper doll character display of the PC version; instead players can see the full 3D characters as they equip and change items, to see how they look. As seen in the screenshots, the interface for items involves a circular menu, by item type. The design is set up to encourage players to quickly find and change items from their inventory when needed, and jump back immediately into the action.
PS3 D3 Gameplay in Town
PS3 D3 Console UI
PS3 D3 Waypoint UI
PS3 D3 Demon Hunter Skills
PS3 D3 Demon Hunter in Action
PS3 D3 Barbarian in Action
Direct Control
In the PC version of Diablo III, control is done the mouse to direct or guide the character. A player clicks on a spot in the game world, and the hero moves along a path to that position. With the PS3 version, the player controls the character's movements directly, with the analog sticks on the controller. The controls for the rest of the game have also been customized to work with the PS3 controller.

The PlayStation version of Diablo III is specifically built to be played with the controller, and will not support USB mice or keyboards. Similarly, there are no plans to update the PC version to support a PS3 type of controller, just because it is supported by the console version.
Bosses and Monsters
The game world has been reviewed for the PS3 version of Diablo III, and the monsters and bosses are tuned specifically for the console version.
Dynamic Camera
The angled camera that is so much a part of the Diablo gameplay experience is being adjusted for the PS3 version of the game. The camera is dynamic in the console version, zooming in and out automatically. This fits well with the local co-op version of the game, where up to 4 players can play together, connected to one PS3. There is no need for a split-screen there, because the camera will zoom out to fit everyone on screen together at once in full screen.
A new Evade capability is part of the PS3 version of Diablo III, apparently for characters of all classes, so that "when stuff's coming at you, and the demons are summoning around you, you can move quickly out of the way".
Diablo III for PlayStation 3 Multiplayer
Online Multiplayer
Diablo III on the PS3 will have online multiplayer with matchmaking, through the PlayStation Network. Players on the PS3 can go through PlayStation Network to queue up or just invite players from their friend's list there, to play with other players online.
No Cross-Platform Play
There are "currently no plans to allow connectivity between PlayStation Network and Battle.net". Characters on the PlayStation 3 (and presumably PlayStation 4) versions of Diablo III will only be able to be played there, and cannot play with Battle.net characters.
Local and Online Co-op
The local co-op mode allows up to 4 players can play locally, all connected to one PlayStation 3. The idea is to have games of friends hanging out, sitting on the couch and playing together to blast through the demons and monsters in Sanctuary. This is handled without a split-screen, as the camera dynamically adjusts to fit everyone on screen together at once. From the information so far, this may be able to run entirely offline; if accurate, this would be the first time players could run Diablo III without an internet connection.

See the Sources for Diablo III on PlayStation Consoles section for the original interviews and posts from Blizzard, that this article is based on.
Future Development of Diablo III on Consoles
Patching Process
Like the PC version of Diablo III, the PlayStation versions will be updated regularly with patches from Blizzard. The exact process of this hasn't been released yet. We can speculate that it will likely be a more sedate process than the standard Public Test Realms schedule used for the PC client. The patches on the PC (like patch 1.0.7 or patch 1.0.8) will no doubt continue as normal through the PTR process; once a patch there is finalized to go live, that new patch will likely be given to the console development team to be fit into the PlayStation version of the game.

Once both the PS3 and PS4 versions of Diablo III are released, Blizzard will have many different versions of the clients and servers used to run Diablo III. On the personal computer side, there are already the Microsoft Windows version and Macintosh OS X versions of the client, that tie to the Battle.net servers. The PS3 and PS4 versions will be tied to the PlayStation Network server structure, which will make a lot to juggle for the development and live ops teams.
Only PlayStation?
Blizzard developers gave noncommital replies to the idea of taking Diablo III to other consoles beyond the PS3 and PS4, but left open the possibility.
Diablo III on the PlayStation 4
Early Days
The PlayStation 4 version of Diablo III has been announced, but has not been in active development like the PlayStation 3 version. This can be seen even in the phrasing of the initial Blizzard press release: the company is actively "developing" the PlayStation 3 version, but has just "confirmed plans to adapt the game" for the PlayStation 4.

Blizzard only received a copy of the new PS4 DualShock 4 controller the day before Sony's press conference announcing the new console in February. Blizzard will work to develop Diablo III for the PlayStation 4 in a manner that takes advantage of the new abilities within that console, just as the game has been adapted best to work on the PS3. That is down the road; for now, the focus of the console development team seems trained on getting the PS3 version finished.
Diablo III for PlayStation Consoles Release
Officially, there has been no announcement of a release date for Diablo III on either the PlayStation 3 or PlayStation 4. Reading between the lines, the PS3 version of Diablo III may already be scheduled for release in 2013. Here's why:

Investor Info - The Activision Blizzard Q4 2012 Earnings Report in February provided official financial statements from the company. In the earnings call, Chief Financial Officer Dennis Durkin stated, "This year, our outlook for Blizzard includes the release of the StarCraft II expansion pack, Heart of the Swarm, in March and one additional title." The big question is, what one additional title is Blizzard expecting to release in 2013? There are three possible games that could fit that role.

Blizzard All-Stars - The first possible game that could theoretically be released this year is Blizzard All-Stars, the multiplayer online battle arena game that grew out of being a map for StarCraft II into a full-fledged game. It has been in development for a couple of years, and has been making progress lately into a free-to-play game supported by micro-transactions, like the leader in the genre, League of Legends. (See the wikipedia article on Blizzard All-Stars for more details.) However, while Blizzard All-Stars has been making progress overall, as of January it still wasn't far enough along even for an internal Blizzard alpha test. It seems unlikely that Blizzard would be talking about release of a game this year, that they didn't know for certain was closer to be finished.

Something New at PAX - Blizzard has a big announcement tomorrow at PAX East for a new game. Their teaser text keeps talking about "a little something", that isn't a sequel or known game already in development like Project Titan. One feasible game that would fit within this concept would be an iOS or Android mobile phone game; the development time for them is much shorter than a PC or console game. If Blizzard does want to release a mobile game this year it would make sense to announce it now, instead of waiting until Blizzcon this November, where they traditionally announce new games.

PlayStation 3 Diablo III - If neither of those games are going to be released this year, the final logical choice is the PS3 version of Diablo III. It might seem premature to think about a release this year for something that was just announced in February, given Blizzard's standard lengthy development cycle after a game has been announced. However, in this case the basic game has already been finished and played by millions of PC users. The port to the PS3 console has been worked on for multiple years, and has been playable internally since at least December 2012. There is a ticking clock on the development of any new PlayStation 3 game, since they will garner far less attention once the PlayStation 4 is released this Christmas. So there is a chance, at least, that Blizzard is already counting on releasing the PS3 version of Diablo III this year.

PlayStation 4 Diablo III - As mentioned, the PS4 version of Diablo III is not yet in full development. It will certainly not be a game available at the release of the PS4, and will likely not be developed heavily until the PS3 version is near release.
Check back this weekend for all the latest info about Diablo III on the PlayStation 3, as it unfolds at PAX East!