Last week, Blizzard set tongues wagging with an apparent tease for a Diablo game on Nintendo Switch. The image - of a Diablo night light being repeatedly switched on and off - felt fairly deliberate.
Which version sticks more closely to the target 4K?
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UPDATE: Blizzard has issued a statement addressing its tweet that heavily suggested Diablo was coming to Switch.
Cited as an example of ultra HD gaming on Microsoft's list of Xbox One X enhanced titles, Diablo 3 is an evolution of Blizzard's good work on the PlayStation 4 Pro version of the game. The same principles are in place: the game targets a native 2160p presentation, but utilises a dynamic scaler to lock to the target 60 frames per second, adjusting the pixel count on the fly to ensure consistent performance. And just like the PS4 Pro version, Xbox One X benefits from a smattering of visual enhancements too. But the question is, just how close are the two versions? And to what extent does Xbox One X's higher spec translate into a closer lock to a native 4K?
What's clear is that as good an upgrade as the PS4 Pro version is, Xbox One X goes one better, with a much closer lock on the target 4K resolution. In PS4 Pro's case, a full 3840x2160 is only hit around interior areas, like the bar at New Tristram, or small dungeons. But in practice, Sony's machine tends to run at lower numbers in the town itself - while Xbox One X hits 4K almost perfectly throughout.
To put some hard figures to this, overlooking New Tristram right at the start with a new character, sees Xbox One X delivering 3840x2160 - the full 4K experience - while PS4 Pro kicks off at 2880x1620. In like-for-like situations, that's a 77 per cent increase in resolution in favour of the Microsoft console, before even touching a button. Things start to change as we head towards New Tristram's gates, and the resolution adapts on both sides.
For nearly a year Blizzard has been threatening to change the name of its proprietary online multiplayer service Battle.net to the more on-brand Blizzard.net. That is the name of the company, after all, which would theoretically make things less confusing. However, after a scant few months under the new monicker Blizzard rethought this approach because the Battle.net name has been around for over 20 years (since the studio launched Diablo in 1996). Changing it now has led to bewilderment.
Diablo 3's Ultimate Evil Edition is available for free on Xbox One this weekend for Xbox live Gold subscribers, as part of Microsoft's Free Play Days promotion.
Blizzard says the Necromancer, which arrives as an add-on for Diablo 3 today, is one of the most-requested characters in any of its games. That's no surprise - it's an iconic player character and a fun class to play, and it was always very popular in Diablo 2. But perhaps there is something else going on behind the public demands for the Necromancer's apt resurrection, because the class is pure Diablo 2: none more Gothic, not so much dark as sepulchral, stitched together from sackcloth and bone, pentagrams and guttering candles. A dry, death-metal kind of fantasy horror.
Blizzard has announced that the Rise of the Necromancer pack for Diablo 3, which adds the much-loved Necromancer character class from Diablo 2 to the younger game, will be released next week on 27th June.
Blizzard has emerged victorious in a long-running lawsuit against Bossland, a German company that creates cheats for online games.
Diablo 3's long-awaited 20th anniversary patch goes live this week - and it's already got players talking.
For the month of January, a recreation of Diablo 1 can be played inside of Diablo 3. The Darkening of Tristram Event arrives with the release of Patch 2.4.3. Blizzard put out a video, below, to explain how to access the dungeon (it's through a portal in the town of Old Tristram) and what to expect from it. Through the portal you find a huge dungeon that's essentially all of Diablo 1 recreated with Diablo 3 assets. That's all 16 levels of the first game remade.
This retro dungeon comes complete with pixelated visuals, old-school animations and sound effects. The camera has moved. Everyone's locked to eight degrees of rotation. Your character walks everywhere. The sound is a little tinier and the sounds repeat more often - a classic mechanic of 90s PC games.
No Diablo 4, but a new Necromancer class and a recreation of Diablo 1 in Diablo 3 instead.
Could Diablo 3 be about to get a Necromancer playable class? That's the suggestion in the newest piece of leaked Blizzard concept art - which was found on the same Blizzard Gear servers as the secret Overwatch Sombra art earlier.
UPDATE 5PM BST: There's been a development and it may not be the one you're hoping for. David Brevik has said he's not working on Diablo now or in the near future.
Chris Metzen is retiring. He's leaving Blizzard Entertainment after more than 20 years' service. He, the overseer of story at arguably the world's most successful game maker. He, the earring-wearing cool guy on the BlizzCon stage. He, the voice of Thrall. Retiring. And he's only 42.
Blizzard is going to make another Diablo game, according to a new job listing.
Diablo 3 director Jay Wilson is leaving Blizzard Entertainment after a decade with the company.
A new limited time event has been discovered in Diablo 3 paying tribute to late Blizzard artist Kevin Kanai Griffith.
Blizzard's latest Diablo 3 console patch 2.4 is understood to cause frame-rate issues not seen in the previous version. The update adds a range of compelling extras, like a new Greyhollow Island area, expanded zones, and a catalogue of tweaks per class and weapon. But reports on the game's official forums suggest performance has taken a serious a hit in the meantime, and controls are now laggier as a consequence - while menus suffer input delays. Also worrying are reports of more frequent in-game crashing.
With thanks to Eurogamer's Oli Welsh and his up-to-speed PS4 save, we've managed to isolate some of the challenges players are experiencing in the video below. In particular, the issue manifests as a stutter when travelling the game world, even while uncontested by enemies. And surprisingly, these frustrating hitches remain even when the game is installed to a nippy SSD, strongly suggesting it has little to do with data streaming from a PS4's stock HDD.
Though most interior areas run at a clean 60fps as expected, larger outdoor spots like Southern Highlands, or Dreadjudge Approach show frames dropping in clusters without any real provocation. Simply moving quickly - whether that's via a Barbarian's leap move, or being knocked back by an enemy - is one of the easier ways to see the stutter in action. Even simply walking across a bridge, without an enemy in sight, produces the issue, as demonstrated in our video below.
Diablo 3 makes an art of relentlessly gouging your time, but rarely your wallet. If the Auction House had persisted it would be a different story, but Blizzard's hectic smash-and-grab has maintained its flip-reversed trajectory to become one of the most lovingly-maintained games in recent memory.
Since the game's launch in 2012 a steady stream of updates have added layers of complex, compelling and mutually-amplifying processes and tools to refine and power up your character. The Paragon system alone will soak up thousands of hours of play, and the endless lottery of loot drops, the daily-style Bounties and options to burn your hard-earned materials crafting elusive, perfectly rolled gear in Kanai's Cube for all intents and purposes makes Diablo 3 a game you never need to stop playing.
So, why the latest patch? 2.4.0 feels like Blizzard showboating - a high profile demonstration of the team's creative resources, a firm handshake to the game's community and, I suspect, part of a shadowy PhD project studying behavioural psychology. It's also, if you look for it, a sign of Blizzard thinking about what comes next, about what a Diablo storyline should look like now that Adventure Mode is the new heart of the game.
UPDATE 13TH JANUARY: The patch is rolling out now in Europe on PC, PS4 and Xbox One. Full console patch notes and PC patch notes are available.
ORIGINAL STORY 8TH JANUARY: The expansion-like Diablo 3 patch, numbered 2.4, arrives simultaneously on PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One before 15th January.
"The January 15th date is the start of the new season," said Diablo community official Brandy 'Nevalistis' Camel (in the comments) "We plan to release the patch prior to the start of [the new season].
I love that Blizzard still releases great fat patches for Diablo 3. With every one, the game gets crazier. And the freshly-detailed patch 2.4 - heading to the public testing server soon - is no exception. It's massive.
There's a whole new zone in 2.4 for Adventure mode only, which means it's not being shoehorned into the story. It's called Greyhallow Island and it's dark and mysterious and foresty, and wants to eat you; "the land itself is said to be hungry for blood", the game's website warned. Other areas have been expanded, again only in Adventure mode. You'll be able to go beyond the rubble in Leoric's Manor, and beyond the gates in the Ruins of Sescheron, into the Eternal Woods.
All - repeat, all - of the game's 24 sets of class armour (the ones with green writing) are being either revamped, revisited or revised. Thorns of the Invoker and the Shadow's Mantle are getting total overhauls. The six-piece Shadow's Mantle bonus is now, "Impale deals an additional 40,000 per cent weapon damage to the first enemy hit." That's enough to break a calculator!
Overwatch on console! New Hearthstone Adventure! Warcraft movie trailer debut! No Diablo. Sad face.
Blizzard has released a big update for Diablo 3 that adds some cool new features to the game.
The headline addition for patch 2.3, which is available for the PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of the game, is Kanai's Cube, a nod to Diablo 2's Horadric Cube. This lets you customise your character to an even greater degree. You'll find it in a new zone, called the Ruins of Sescheron. This is the Barbarian capital that fell to Baal in Diablo 2 expansion The Lord of Destruction.
Elsewhere, the patch sets up Season 4, which begins on 28th August. This adds Season Journeys, a new progression and reward system, as well as new difficulty levels. And there are important changes to the Adventure Mode, too, and Greater Rift Trials.
Blizzard has previewed a major new patch - 2.3.0 - for Diablo 3. This is "right around the corner" from the Public Test Realm apparently.
Broadly the patch continues the trend of allowing you to become even more powerful. Check out this new artifact, Kanai's Cube: it will allow you to break down Legendary items and equip their special effects as passive skills - separate to your other passive skills! It will also let you convert crafting materials from one type to another "and so much more".
You'll get that Cube, it sounds like, from the new zone arriving in the patch - Ruins of Sescheron. It's barbarian land, and the Kanai Cube is the Tomb of King Kanai's greatest treasure.
Diablo 3 is three years old! Its birthday present? A secret cow level.
The number of people who subscribe to massively multiplayer online role-playing game World of Warcraft fell to 7.1 million, Blizzard said - but the success of Hearthstone and Diablo is helping make up for it.
I lost my first character in Diablo 3's Hardcore mode - where death is permanent - to a puddle of acid excreted by an angry tree. The character was a level 17 wizard. I just wasn't watching where I was standing. That was a back before the console version, before the Reaper of Souls expansion - when the game was less fun, less pliable, less eager to please.
There's a really meaty new Diablo 3 patch out on PC and consoles (PS4 and Xbox One).
The main focus is adding new Legendary items as well as redesigning old ones. That includes class sets - and there are three new class sets (for wizard, barbarian, demon hunter) to collect.
Many items will have new Legendary powers, many others their powers drastically increased. One Monk set - Inna's Mantra - now has a six-pieces set bonus where your Mystic Ally clone now copies your special attacks whenever you perform them, effectively doubling them.
Blizzard has announced a host of changes that will be made to Diablo 3 in the game's next major patch. The updates were revealed during the game's dedicated panel at the publisher's BlizzCon gathering in California.
Patch 2.1.2 addresses a number of issues identified since the launch of Patch 2.1 earlier this year, from a rebalancing of the Greater Rift system, to the addition of new creatures, weapons and armour.
Success in Greater Rifts is measured by the speed of completion, yet certain random elements can have a radical, random effect on your chances of success or failure. Conduit Pylons, which cause a character to temporarily fire devastating electrical damage around the scenery, often determine victory outright.
And that's a wrap!
From this evening until next Friday, there are scrumptious Blizzard-given buffs for anyone playing Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition (the console game).
UPDATE 8/10 11AM BST: Blizzard has said patch 2.1.0 is out now on PS4 and Xbox One.
Regarding PS3 and Xbox 360, Blizzard announced in August that there were "no plans ... to provide ongoing patch support for PS3 and Xbox 360 post-launch".
ORIGINAL STORY 7/10 5PM BST: There's a major patch for Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls - Ultimate Evil Edition, AKA the newer console game, "just around the corner", according to Blizzard.
Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition is the first Diablo game to top the UK sales chart.
With a full 1080p full HD resolution now in place for Diablo 3 on both PS4 and Xbox One, the time has come to investigate each in their fully updated states. After all, we've seen performance drops on Microsoft's platform since its bump from 900p to 1080p, but does Sony's hardware suffer similar issues at the same stress points? And from a visual perspective, does Blizzard keep all the bells and whistles of a maxed-out PC playthrough for each?
Arriving just a few days ahead of the European launch, both platforms are prepped for a day one patch to resolve separate issues. On the PS4 side (and to a lesser extent Xbox One), a bug that once caused frame-rate dips
to animation and effects rendering is now entirely fixed (as of patch C.220.127.116.11396, seen on its splash screen). The net result? We no longer see drops to the low 40fps range on PS4, and instead, we're thrilled to see a perfect 60fps during all our test sections.
Could there be a better way to start a Bank Holiday weekend than a co-op Diablo 3 sesh? Not if you ask me - but then, as commenters on all the articles I write about Blizzard like to point out, I am biased.
We were hoping to bring you a full Face-Off for Diablo 3 on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in time for today's launch, but the definitive word on Blizzard's latest console release will have to wait owing to game-changing day one patches deployed for both consoles.
As promised, Xbox One sees a boost to resolution from 900p to full 1080p, while updates for both systems address a bizarre dual frame-rate bug we uncovered last week that the developer has pledged to fix.
Xbox One saw this 1080p patch released yesterday, allowing us to bring you this quick update. We were initially disappointed to see that while the PS4 version was also subject to a new patch, the same dual frame-rate issue was still in effect, albeit to a lesser degree. However, upon testing, the PS4 discretely updated again to C18.104.22.168396 later that day, with the patch notes listing "improved gameplay performance throughout title" - and yes, a quick test in the problem area outside the New Tristram gates reveals the issue has been resolved. Further testing still needs to be carried out in the game's more packed areas, but so far, the PS4's render-side stuttering looks to be fully fixed.
I expect Deranged Cultists and Accursed Hellions whenever I wander into the Sundered Canyon, but this guy was clearly something else entirely. He looked like Giger's Alien for starters, and he warped in accompanied by too much fanfare and a sprightly burst of red mist. As he lunged at me, I sensed that in amongst the echoing grandeur that accompanies a war between heaven and hell, this particular brawl was personal. So personal, in fact, that I had better pay full attention to it and stop checking my email.
I've fought plenty of monsters in Diablo - and by fought I mean I've clicked on them or jabbed away at a face button until they were dead. My latest foe wasn't an ordinary monster, though. He was a nemesis. He'd already killed Digital Foundry contributor Tom Morgan in Tom's own game, and now he was here for me.
Spoilers: he killed me too. Then he warped back and killed Tom again, I gather, and then had a final go at me as I neared the boss at the end of the second act. That nemesis had grown in power each time, and although the whole thing's a pretty simple viral trick - a packet of monster, essentially, that pings around your friends list - it's a really good trick when you see it in action. A familiar face in amidst the procedural hordes Blizzard's so good at conjuring. A reminder that your hero, decked out in whatever armour you've found, dialled into whichever skills you've selected, is part of a wider community, and that we're all hacking and slashing through this together.
UPDATE 2 13/08/2014 4.24pm: Blizzard has confirmed the inaccuracy of the Sony listing to Eurogamer and provided us with file sizes for the European PlayStation Store version of Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition on PS4. An installation of the game with audio in a single language will only occupy around 16GB of space.
A day-one patch will bring the Xbox One version of Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition from 900p to 1080p, Blizzard has revealed.
If you played the already-released Diablo 3 game on PS3 or Xbox 360 then good news: you can transfer your characters' progress into the new game - Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition - when it comes out later this month (19th).
Diablo 3 has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide as of 30th June, publisher Activision Blizzard announced in its latest financial report.
The new console version of Diablo 3 - the Ultimate Evil Edition - will be released on 19th August.
A pile of screenshots have been unearthed that show the new bits coming to the Ultimate Evil Edition of Diablo 3 - ie. 'the new console version' - on 19th August.
Frame-rate is paramount for Blizzard and the new-gen console version of Diablo 3 - The Ultimate Evil Edition (launching 19th August). 60fps is paramount.
UPDATE: In addition to The Last of Us-themed Nephalem Rift, buyers of The Ultimate Evil Edition of Diablo 3 on PS3 and PS4 will get another treat: a Shadow of the Colossus-themed transmogrification set called Guise of the Colossi.
Blizzard has released new gameplay footage of Diablo 3 Reaper of Souls on PlayStation 4.
Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition - Diablo 3 plus Reaper of Souls expansion - has been confirmed for Xbox One, Xbox 360, PS3 and, as we knew, PS4.
It's coming out 19th August - a Tuesday (that's a worldwide date by the way).
Crucially, you will be able to transfer your PS3 or Xbox 360 Diablo 3 character into the new game to carry on your adventure. What's more, you can choose to transfer to PS4 from PS3, and to Xbox One from Xbox 360.
I went to Paris last week to meddle with ultimate evil - or rather, to play Diablo 3: Ultimate Evil Edition. This is the PS4 strain of Blizzard's colourful and divisive action RPG, and it's a game that may actually earn that foolhardy "Ultimate" in its title. It has couch (and online) co-op and all the erupting fireworks you should expect if you've been playing the PS3 or 360 installments - and if you've been playing PS3 version, incidentally, you can look forward to importing your character. Beyond that, the particles seem to be scattered more lavishly, the frame-rate is consistently glorious, and I struggled to see any screen-tearing. Oh yes, and it bundles the forthcoming expansion Reaper of Souls in there too. That really is pretty Ultimate, then - for the time being, at least.
Sales of action role-playing game Diablo 3 have now reached 15m, Activision Blizzard has announced.
The impressive figure, which came as part of the company's latest financial report, include sales of versions across all platforms. Activision Blizzard chief Bobby Kotick said it bodes well for the upcoming launch of expansion pack Reaper of Souls in March.
In other good news for Blizzard, World of Warcraft ended the year with 7.8m subscribers, a slight increase on the last reported figure. Blizzard boss Mike Morhaime put this down to excitement generated by BlizzCon (more than 4.5m people tuned in), Christmas and new promotions designed to get lapsed players back into the game.
Is Diablo 3 coming to Xbox One? Some shops seem to think so.
I've had access to the beta test for Diablo 3's first expansion, Reaper of Souls, for over a week now, yet I've barely touched the new fifth Act in the campaign and only scratched the surface of the Crusader class. The reason? Adventure mode, which is absolutely the best and biggest addition in an expansion which changes almost everything. It's nothing less than a new way to play the game.
There's been a great response from players of the console version of Diablo 3 - yours truly included - to the more immediate feel of its pad control scheme. This has naturally led the game's PC fanbase to ask if controller support could be patched into their version of the game.
The PS4 version of Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls will get a few new features in addition to its spruced up 1080p visuals (that allegedly run at 60 fps), touchpad support and shorter load times.
As reported by Polygon, perhaps the most exciting new addition to the PS4 version is something called "Avenger Kills," a feature in which certain monsters can kill a player, level up, hop into their friend's game, then try to kill them too.
These monsters will spawn during special events where the skies darken and an announcement will tell the player that "[Insert friend's name here]'s Bane" has arrived. If you manage to defeat your friend's killer, both you and your friend it most recently slayed will get a piece of loot. If the monster kills you, it will level up further and find a friend of yours to hunt. Think of it like a sentient, demonic chain letter. Blizzard is still deciding how to deal with Avenger monsters that get too powerful.
A new trailer for Diablo 3's first major expansion, Reaper of Souls, shows off a number of the upcoming add-on's new features.
First up there's an Adventure Mode where players can hunt bounties for XP and hop into Nephalem Rifts where they must kill enemies until a Nephalem Rift Guardian appears. The DLC also unlocks all waypoints for quick bounty-hunting action.
There also new game systems such as enchanting, transmogrification, an updated Paragon system, and a new Artisan called the Mystic.
Action role-playing game Diablo 3 has sold over 14 million copies, Blizzard Entertainment has announced.
Diablo 3's much derided Auction House - a system that enables players to purchase loot with either real world currency or in-game gold - will cease to exist after 18th March 2014.
"The Auction House is a very complicated conversation..."
Blizzard has announced Reaper of Souls, the first expansion for Diablo 3, at Gamescom in Cologne, Germany.
Reaper of Souls introduces a new hero class, the Crusader melee fighter, as well as a new campaign act that pits you against the Angel of Death in the new setting of Westmarch.
The level cap is raised to 70, the game's loot drops have been rebalanced, and the endgame has been extensively revised, with the addition of randomised "Loot Run" dungeons.
Going deeper into hell?
Blizzard's Project Titan probably won't be a subscription MMO, the company has said.
Diablo 3 launches 3rd September on PS3 and Xbox 360, but it won't arrive on PS4 (and presumably Xbox One) until 2014, Blizzard has said.
An alluring new feature for the console versions of Diablo 3 is same-screen co-op for up to four people.
Diablo 3 is coming to the Xbox 360 as well as PlayStation, Blizzard has announced.
Pre-order Diablo 3 on PlayStation 3 and you'll get the Infernal Helm, which grants an experience point boost, Blizzard has announced. Each of the game's five classes can wear it.
A wheelchair-bound gamer has been accused of faking his disability after he stood up and walked while on camera.
BlizzCon 2013 tickets will go on sale in two batches later this month.
Diablo 3 on PS3 and PS4 is a pretty big deal for Blizzard, as it marks the first time in two decades that the wildly popular strategy and MMO developer has made a game for consoles (not counting a couple of ports made by third parties). As such, it seems to be targeting a different market: one that prefers a more action-focused, one-to-one, button-to-attack approach over the more distant experience of lording it over your avatar with a mouse.
Diablo 3 was on shown on PS3 at PAX East at the weekend, and the first video of it in action has popped out.
Don't panic when you see shops like The Hut charging £70 for a PS4 game, because Sony hasn't set any prices yet.
It sounds like Diablo 3 on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 may not connect to Battle.net at all.
Diablo 3 on PC/Mac required an internet connection to play. But it doesn't sound like Diablo 3 on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 will.
There's been a cacophony of views on Sony's PlayStation 4 reveal. Our writers have shared first impressions, you've shared your opinions and, slowly, game makers emerge with their thoughts.
Blizzard has released the first screenshots of Diablo 3 running on PlayStation.
"I'm not directly managing third-party relations," says Shuhei Yoshida, when I ask him a question that pretty much has nothing to do with the area of Sony Computer Entertainment for which he is responsible.