‘Overwatch’ Confirmed For PS4 And Xbox One At BlizzCon, Will Not Be Free To Play

As expected after yesterday’s leaks, Blizzard Entertainment announced Friday at BlizzCon that Overwatch is coming to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in addition to the PC. The first-person hero shooter received additional details such as whether what kind of business model it will use, when it will launch, and the different purchase options that will be available.

Overwatch will launch for all three platforms sometime during Spring 2016. Activision did not list a specific release date, but added the caveat that it will launch no later than June 21, 2016, which is the date GameStop and other retails are using. Spring 2016 is officially listed as starting March 20 and ending June 20, so it could arrive at some point during that time period.

The six versus six shooter will launch with 21 different characters on a near future Earth “where teams of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities clash for control of iconic locations around the world.”

Overwatch Hero Lineup (PS4, Xbox One, PC) All 21 Overwatch heroes. [Image via BattleNet]The final three Overwatch characters were announced Friday.

Genji, a cybernetic ninja, is an expert assassin capable of extraordinary feats of agility, including reflecting enemy attacks with his blade. D.Va is a former pro-gaming superstar who pilots an experimental military mech in defense of her home country. Mei travels the globe applying her scientific expertise to protect the natural world; in battle, her arsenal of climate-manipulating technology has the power to put the opposition on ice.

During Friday’s BlizzCon panel for Overwatch, Blizzard revealed the game was designed to be played on consoles from the beginning. While the game does support Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network, no cross-play between the consoles and PC will be supported. Interestingly, there will be no Mac support.

Many, including this writer, expected Overwatch to be a free-to-play game. Activision instead announced Overwatch: Origins Edition for $59.99 along with a $129.99 Limited Collector’s Edition for the PS4, Xbox One, and PC. Additionally, PC owners will have the option to purchase a $39.99 digital only edition.

Overwatch Dva (PS4, Xbox One, PC) One of the three new heroes, D.Va. [Image via BattleNet]Here is what is included in each addition.

Overwatch: Origins Edition

  • All 21 heroes plus all maps, content and features as the “base version of the game.”
  • Hero skins for five characters based on their past; Blackwatch Reyes (Reaper), Strike-Commander Morrison (Soldier: 76), Overgrown Bastion, Security Chief Pharah, and Slipstream Tracer.
  • Noire skin for Widowmaker
  • Tracer Hero for Heroes of the Storm
  • Baby Winston Pet for World of Warcraft
  • Six StarCraft II Portraits
  • Mercy Wings for Diablo III
  • Hearthstone Card Back

Overwatch Limited Collector’s Edition

  • Everything from the Origins Edition
  • full-color art book
  • The Overwatch soundtrack
  • A high-quality collectible statue of Soldier: 76

Overwatch Digital PC Edition

  • All 21 heroes plus all maps, content and features as the “base version of the game.”
  • Noire skin for Widowmaker

“We’re building Overwatch to be the first-person shooter we’ve always wanted to play, with a vibrant world, awesome heroes, and an emphasis on tightly focused cooperative gameplay,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and co-founder of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re excited to welcome console and PC gamers to the fight for the future, and we can’t wait to see all the incredible things teams are able to accomplish on the battlefield this upcoming spring.”

It will be interesting to watch how Overwatch develops leading up to release. While it is not free to play, Blizzard’s use of the term “base version of the game” suggests additional heroes past the original 21 will come later, though Blizzard’s panelists would only say they are focused on the starter set of heroes for now. How those will be sold is up for speculation, but DLC either in the form of microtransactions or character packs would seem to be a safe bet.

The “Hero Shooter” genre is relatively new and follows on the heels of MOBA hits like Dota 2, League of Legends, and Blizzard’s own Heroes of the Storm. Overwatch will see competition from Gearbox Software’s Battleborn, now due in May 2016, as well as Hi-Rez Studios Paladins. Meanwhile, Gigantic is a third-person free to play shooter exclusive to the Xbox One and Windows 10 PCs.

What do you think of Overwatch coming to the PS4 and Xbox One in addition to the PC as a full-priced title? Sound off in the comments below.

[Image via BattleNet]

[Update: Added pertinent details from BlizzCon panel.]