Diablo 3 'feels even better' with controller

by Steve Watts, Sep 21, 2011 9:30am PDT

Blizzard hasn't exactly been what we'd call "subtle" with hints at Diablo III on consoles. At this point we'd be more surprised if the anticipated dungeon-crawler stays PC-exclusive. Now you can carve another notch in the Incredibly Blatant Teasing scoreboard, as game director Jay Wilson says that internal tests have shown the game feels better when played with an Xbox 360-style analog pad.

"One of the reasons why we're exploring the idea of a console version of Diablo 3 because we feel that the controls and the style of the game lend itself to a console," Wilson told PC Gamer. "With some of our early experiments in putting a direct control scheme into the game via a 360-like analogue controller, I've been, 'Oh this feels even better, with direct control.'"

"We don't see ourselves as a PC developer - we see ourselves as a game developer. It's just the games that we wanted to make suit the PC platform." He cites Starcraft as an example of an RTS that couldn't meet their standards on a console, saying it wouldn't be "Blizzard great." But Diablo seems to lend itself to traditional console controls, especially if the team is already testing it.

You may recall this is similar to the reaction from critics and fans when the Diablo-inspired Torchlight made the trek to the Xbox 360. It's also proving a source of consternation among 360 owners who probably won't be getting Torchlight 2.

Still, the PC version is likely to come first, with controller support subsequently patched in when and if the unannounced console versions are finished. "I can pretty much guarantee that if we decide to do a console version that we will look to support a pad on PC," he said. "But initially with release I don't think we'll be ready."

It's unclear how the console versions would deal with certain PC decisions, like the real-money auction house and always-on internet requirement. But Blizzard has been fairly open about its interest in a console version, dropping multiple hints over the last year.

If you want to try out the game with good old-fashioned mouse-and-keyboard controls, beta invites began going out yesterday. If you didn't get in, you can always get a small taste with the skill calculator.





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