THE MAKER OF WORLD-CONQUERING MMORPG World of Warcraft, Blizzard Entertainment, has finally announced the long-awaited third installment of the Diablo games series - currently named Diablo 3, with stunning originality.
Unlike WoW, Diablo will be a much more straight offline experience, but with the multiplayer dungeon quest elements that made Diablo 2 one of the stalwarts of the LAN gaming scene.
More interesting, however, is the development platform Blizzard is going for. Within the official FAQ, there are a few interesting nuggets that will make Nvidia sit up and take note.
First off: the game will run on XP as well as Vista, with DirectX 10 being recommended but not required. As if that wasn't bad enough for the green team, which is working hard to shift new DX10 cards, the Direct X 10 included will be of the 10.1 variety - supported by DAAMIT but not the boys in green. This means that the best graphical experience might just be on ATI hardware.
And as a real kicker, Blizzard has opted for Havok physics - acceleratable on both Nvidia and ATI graphics cards, but now owned by Intel - over Physx, the physics platform from Nvidia.
To add salt to the wound, Blizzard will be keeping up with its tradition of releasing games simultaneously on Mac OSX as well as PC - meaning not only do you not need Vista to play, you don't even need a PC.
Diablo 3 is being marketed by Blizzard as "the definitive action role-playing game", and with the firm's recent track record, we wouldn't bet against them.
What is won't be, it seems, is a guaranteed graphics card seller, unlike many of the other triple-A titles released recently. µ
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