With the official release date for the PC and Mac versions of Diablo 3 finally revealed, we still have an unanswered question: What about the console release? Blizzard has made no secret that it's tinkering with a console version of Diablo 3, doing everything short of officially announcing it.

Rumors about a console port began flying almost immediately after Blizzard officially announced Diablo 3 in the summer of 2008. In an interview with Joystiq following the announcement, Diablo 3 lead designer Jay Wilson stated that Blizzard didn't have "any plans" to bring the anticipated dungeon crawler to consoles. Only days later, Blizzard VP of Game Design Rob Pardo gave console players hope, saying that a port was "theoretically possible." A year later, COO Paul Sams fanned the flames yet again, stating that console manufacturers (likely Microsoft and Sony) had made "some pretty compelling arguments" in favor of a port.

Fast forward another year to November 2010, and Blizzard began actively recruiting console development positions, telling the community it was "exploring a Diablo-related concept for consoles," though not necessarily a port of Diablo 3 itself. The following February at DICE, CEO Mike Morhaime told Joystiq that Blizzard was investigating the possibility of Diablo 3 on consoles "to see if that could make sense." He admitted that "a game like Diablo might play very well on a console," but that several issues -- timely patching, adding expansions -- would have to be worked out.

Throughout the rest of 2011, several more clear indications of Blizzard's intentions popped up, yet still no official announcement. In June, the company opened up a position for a "PlayStation 3 specialist." At Gamescom, Blizzard lead designer Josh Mosqueira said the company was "very, very serious about bringing the Diablo 3 experience to the console" and was "trying to build the best console team." At Blizzcon 2011, Jay Wilson taunted console owners once more, saying that Diablo 3 movement "actually feels better on the controller." Finally, at the tail end of December, Blizzard posted a job listing for a console senior network engineer. The engineer would be responsible for "ensuring the best implementation of sophisticated networking systems on consoles," which seems like an awfully advanced function for a project that has yet to be officially announced.

At this point, the eventuality of a console version of Diablo 3 is essentially undeniable. For Blizzard's part, the company is still keeping quiet. After today's PC and Mac announcement, we reached out to Blizzard, hoping for some clarification. The company declined to comment.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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