Console Diablo 3 playable offline, real money auction house removed, not exactly a Sony exclusive

I had the chance to play the PlayStation 3 version of Diablo 3, and the act of controlling your character directly changes the game in many different ways. We’ll have a longer story about the game coming up later, but for now I wanted to bring up some interesting bits about the console version of the game, including the following: You’ll be able to play offline, with up to four players on the same console.

“It’s so much fun,” Joshua Mosqueira, the game’s lead designer, said when I asked how the couch co-op played. “On a big couch, with four of your friends, drinking beers, it’s almost like a party atmosphere. There’s this really awesome social moment with a legendary drop, and everyone is cheering. It feels very collaborative.”

There was some question about the offline play of the game, something that’s impossible in the PC version of Diablo 3. It was confirmed to me that the game will be playable offline on the PlayStation 3.

Which leads to some other changes, namely the removal of the real money auction house. “The ecosystems on the PC and console are very different,” Mosqueira explained. “There were some technical reasons we had to go with offline, but again once you have an offline experience, even if we wanted to bring in the auction house, it just becomes problematic. How do you validate? How do you make sure there is no duping or any of that stuff?”

Even though some things were lost, and there will be many Diablo players who consider those losses a good thing, the gains were worth it. “But we really felt that playing offline, and being able to move your console from the living room to your bedroom, which a lot of players do to play, is really important,” Mosqueira said.

There were a surprising number of changes to the game, and almost all of them seemed to have improved things, in my humble opinion. I asked about the PlayStation 4 version, and was told that they are only talking about the PlayStation 3 version at the moment. I also asked about their exclusivity with Sony. “We don’t have any announcements to make at this time,” I was told, “But we’re not necessarily a Sony exclusive.”

Cue the dramatic music. We’ll have a more in-depth look at the game coming early next week, but so far all the changes seem to be for the better. 

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