It's official: Diablo III hits May 15th

Diablo III hits May 15 on the PC and Mac for $59.99. The price is the same whether you buy the boxed copy or a digital download direct from Blizzard.

I just swooned. Swooned. Why? Because I just found out when my life will end: May 15th, the day Diablo III hits PC and Mac and I go into a dungeon-crawling coma.

Blizzard announced this morning that the next chapter in their fabled Diablo series hits the U.S., Canada, Europe, South Korea, Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and the regions of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Macau in mid May. In addition, gamers in the regions above as well as in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, and Brazil will be able to buy Diablo III digitally via Blizzard's Battle.net website.

Players in Latin America and Russia will have to wait until June 7th to pick up their copies. Blizzard also says that the game will be fully localized into Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, European Spanish, Italian, Polish, Russian, Korean, and Traditional Chinese.

Presales for the game opens today for digital copies.

"After many years of hard work by our development team and months of beta testing by hundreds of thousands of dedicated players around the world, we're now in the homestretch," said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. "We look forward to putting the final polish on Diablo III over the next two months and delivering the ultimate action-RPG experience to gamers worldwide starting on May 15th."

Diablo III will sell for $59.99 for either the retail DVD or digital version and will be available for Windows XP, Vista, 7 and the Mac. A special alabaster-white Collector's Edition, sold in retail stores for $99.99 USD, will include the full game on DVD-ROM, a behind-the-scenes Blu-ray/DVD two-disc set, the Diablo III soundtrack CD, a 208-page Art of Diablo III book, and a 4 GB USB soulstone (including full versions of Diablo II and Diablo II: Lord of Destruction) and corresponding Diablo skull base, as well as exclusive in-game content for Diablo III, World of Warcraft, and StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty.

It's also probably a good time to point out that you can land the game for free if you sign up for World of Warcraft's Annual Pass. The pass means you're locked in to one year of WoW, but it also gives you a special in-game mount. You can pay for the WoW Annual Pass on a monthly basis at $14.99 per month or according to the billing plan of your choice. If you pay up front you get a bit of a discount. That deal ends at 12:01 a.m. PDT on May 1st.

While the game finally, finally, has a release date keep in mind that when Diablo III ships it won't include the game's player-versus-player arena play. That will be hitting as a free-to-download patch after the game launches. The developers told Vox Games that that particular element of online play wasn't ready to ship with the game.

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