Blizzard dilutes Diablo 3 console confirmation

Not a no, but a sort of maybe yes kind of.

Halt excitement - Blizzard apparently didn't confirm console Diablo 3 yesterday.

When Blizzard community manager Marc "Bashiok" Whiple was asked on Twitter, "Can you confirm or deny Diablo 3 coming to consoles?", his answer - "Yup. Josh Mosqueira is lead designer for the Diablo console project." - didn't mean what it looked like it meant.

Explained Blizzard in a statement: "Bashiok's response on Twitter was intended as a confirmation that we're actively exploring the possibility of developing a console version of Diablo 3, as we've mentioned in the past.

"This is not a confirmation that Diablo 3 is coming to any console platform.

"Our focus right now is on finishing the PC/Mac version of Diablo 3 and making sure it's a worthwhile successor to the Diablo series."

Marc Whipple took to Twitter to relay a similar message.

"'Yup' wasn't meant to be an announcement," he tweeted. "We're still exploring a console version, but more importantly working on the PC/Mac version."

Why is Blizzard toying with our hopes and dreams so? There are a variety of possible explanations.

Blizzard prefers to announce a game when there's something solid to show and to demonstrate. Cast your mind back to the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational in 2008 and the Diablo 3 announcement - we were shown a cinematic trailer, a long gameplay video and screenshots, not simply served a teasing announcement.

Blizzard was only spotted advertising for a console team in late 2010 - is there really a Diablo 3 console project up and running to the studio's famous high standards already?

Blizzard may not have even decided on final platforms for the project yet - it could conceivably be a next generation title. Would it make sense to spend considerable time and effort assembling a team and game for consoles soon to be outdated?

The next generation may better suit Battle.net, too - the glue that binds Blizzard's games together on PC. Many MMOs or ambitious online games have stumbled and fallen at the closed Xbox Live hurdle. Microsoft may rethink this for the next generation. Or, Microsoft may temporarily lower it to secure a famous developer like Blizzard and Diablo 3 as a Next Xbox exclusive. There's a compelling bargaining chip there.

Blizzard could have chosen not to announce Diablo 3 on console because the game may have a different name. Significant changes could prompt Blizzard to differentiate the project.

Or Blizzard could simply be being stubborn, and prefer to focus attention Diablo 3 PC/Mac (still without a release date) before muddying the PR waters by waffling on about a console project.

Should a Diablo 3 console announcement be coming, it will likely be at BlizzCon 2012 this autumn.

One thing's for sure: Blizzard won't be rushed.

A pretty pretty Diablo 3 cinematic.

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