Raining fire down on those dreaming of PC exclusivity.
Update: At Blizzcon this weekend, Blizzard confirmed that Overwatch will be coming to Windows, Xbox One and PS4 by Spring 2016. Blizzard is not working on a Mac port for the game, however. “Currently with the technology behind Macs and the way Overwatch runs it’s just too challenging for us at this point to support it,” game director Jeff Kaplan said. “Our focus right now is entirely on PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.”
When Blizzard announced its new first-person shooter project Overwatch at Blizzcon almost exactly a year ago, the game was only officially confirmed for PCs. Now, there are a number of signs that the game will probably be coming to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as well.
The clues have been amassing for a few weeks now. First, there was a bit of hidden meta-content found in the HTML for Overwatch’s official European site, which noted that “Overwatch is Blizzard’s team-shooter for PC and consoles [emphasis added].” Then some intrepid data miners found some included hard-to-misinterpret programming flags for “INITIAL_PSN_OR_XBL_AUTH” and “WAITING_FOR_PSN_OR_XBL_AUTH” in the game’s PC beta.
But the real clincher came this morning, as Gamestop stores started confirming (per Kotaku) that they were taking pre-orders for PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game. Those console versions are supposedly being sold for $60, which doesn’t really match with the seemingly free-to-play design of the game. Then again, Blizzard has yet to officially confirm Overwatch‘s business model. Blizzard also sells bonus-packed physical bundles for free-to-play titles like Heroes of the Storm.
After working on a handful of console titles in the ’90s, Blizzard spent 15 years focused exclusively on PC game development. That ended in 2013 with console ports of Diablo III that were superior in some ways to the PC original. Shortly after that release, level designer Matthew Berger told Gamespot that “as long as our player base is passionate about playing those games, then there is a future for console games at Blizzard.”
This isn’t the first time Blizzard has planned to unleash a first-person shooter on consoles. Back in 2002, Blizzard announced StarCraft Ghost, based in the world of the popular PC real-time strategy game. After a few trade show demos and numerous delays, the project was finally cancelled by 2007.
If there’s any truth to these reports of an Overwatch console port, we’ll likely hear an official announcement during Blizzcon this weekend. Try to act surprised if and when it happens.
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