The big picture: Diablo IV fans have a lot to look forward to as Blizzard recently dropped the game's opening cinematic and shared details about the upcoming open beta. The in-game intro sets the stage for one of the most anticipated games in years and fortunately, gamers won't have to wait too much longer to get their hands on it.

Those who pre-purchase Diablo IV for PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, Xbox Series or Windows PC will receive early access to the open beta starting March 17 and running through the 19th. The standard open beta will commence the following weekend, from March 24-26.

The open beta will consist of the prologue and the entirety of act one including the first zone, Fractured Peaks. Blizzard will enact a character level cap of 25 during this period although gamers are welcome to continue "ripping through demons" until the open beta ends.

Those who purchased the game digitally will automatically have access to the open beta when the time comes. If you have an early access code, you'll want to follow the redemption instructions to ensure you don't miss out.

As with any beta, players might experience performance issues, outages or other hiccups that impact the overall experience. Blizzard said it will evaluate feedback following the open beta and make changes as needed.

In the interim, Blizzard is planning to host its first developer update of 2023 on February 28. The livestream will start at 11 a.m. Pacific, with lead world designer Art Peshkov, lead systems designer Meng Song, and game director Joe Shely elaborating on the game's stronghold and armor systems. We'll also learn more about the open beta, we're told.

Assuming no further delays, Diablo IV is on track to launch on June 6, 2023. Interested parties can pre-purchase the standard edition for $69.99, the deluxe edition for $89.99 or the ultimate edition for $99.99. The deluxe and ultimate editions include up to four days of early access, which would put you in the game starting June 2.