Have you never met a Street Fighter IV opponent you couldn't hadoken into the ground with a few well-timed combos? Or maybe you're a fancy-pants modder with a following. If so, Razer wants your help in designing what it hopes will be the ultimate arcade stick for the Xbox 360 console.
Historically, Japanese companies and the PC have gone together like Godzilla and human civilization, but that may well be, er, history if Capcom has anything to say about it. The Japanese giant has cast a favorable shadow on PC in recent years with games like Street Fighter IV and Dead Rising 2, but – according to senior vice president Christian Svensson – that's only the beginning.
Street Fighter IV's great and all, but the cool kids (by which we mean the ones that Tiger Uppercutted you so hard that your Internet connection dropped) have moved on to Super Street Fighter IV. As with previous “Super” editions of Street Fighter games, SSFIV packs a slightly larger wallop in the form of new fighters, stages, modes, and a number of balancing tweaks.
PC gamers, however, lost their SSFIV privileges when a few bad eggs ruined everything for the rest of the class. Big round of sarcastic applause for – of course – piracy!
Speaking with 4Gamer.net (translation via Gamasutra), producer Yoshinori Ono said that while Street Fighter IV's PC version actually sold fairly well, it was also "number one in piracy." Unless he's able to find an extremely powerful anti-piracy solution, he explained, SSFIV's staying locked up tight on consoles.
Being a PC gamer (or, we suppose, an early 1800s engineer), you probably just gave your typical answer to all of life's problems: Steam. Ono, however, isn't too hot on that idea, as he believes that kind of restriction is unfair to those without access to Steam.
Theoretically, though, anyone with access to an Internet-enabled PC can have Steam up-and-running in seconds, so we don't really understand Ono's logic. So instead, no one gets to play, because that makes perfect sense! Maybe pirates also stole Ono's basic reasoning abilities?
For Street Fighter IV on the PC, phase one of the “Are we allowed to get excited yet?” cycle is complete. After a quick trip through the rumor mill, Capcom has officially confirmed the port. Now, if it can just replicate that sterling success with the other phases – the most pressing of which places an “Is it plagued by crippling bugs?” in the Q column – then we’re golden. Especially since patient PC players can lord a few bonus features over the heads of their console rivals.
Those features include, most notably, expanded visual options, with new artistic effects like sumi-e ink (think SFIV’s rad announcement trailer) and watercolor shaders joining the typical PC suite of graphical bells and whistles. Also putting a bit more punch behind SFIV’s PC edition is Games For Windows Live support, which brings with it in-game messaging, friends lists, voice chat, and achievements.
Unfortunately, Xbox 360 combatants won’t be able to join PC pugilists in the ring, as cross-platform play has been ruled out by Capcom’s Christian Svensson. It’s just as well, though; punching console fanboys is far more satisfying in real life anyway.
Game’s out this summer. Check out the first link for a bunch of screenshots comparing the game’s new visual effects.
Street Fighter IV may claim to have lived out its early days on the street, but that’s a damn lie. In reality, the current king of fighters spent less of its time scrounging together street cred and more picking up virtual credits in the backs of arcades ploughed flat by herds of rail-thin DDR players.
However, a quick look at the wreckin’ machine’s boxy guts reveals a shocking secret: It’s a PC. Runs Windows and everything. So why delay the game’s PC punch-out until after consoles take it for a ride?
"Well the answer is the game's not done," Capcom VP Christian Svensson said after calling accusations of piracy-avoidance “completely absurd.” "So, to put things into perspective, the Street Fighter IV team is working on two things right now. They're finishing the PC SKU, and people are like, well the arcade was the PC, how hard can it be? Well we had all of these additions for the console version in terms of content that didn't exist on the PC. All of that needs to be rolled back in.”
“All of that takes time. The testing on PC in particular is a very, very time consuming process. Testing and optimisation versus obviously when we're working on console or an arcade board for that matter, it has a known configuration that we can optimise for out of the gate," he explained.
“Your next question to me is probably, well why don't you just hold the console versions until the PC is done? The answer is the unfortunate financial realities of making our numbers within certain financial years or quarters drives when we have to actually get some stuff out of the door.”
“The other part of this is while the PC is an important part of our business today, the forecast does not justify holding back the lion share of the revenues that comes from consoles to make it happen.”
Console gamers have been melting faces and bashing skulls under mountains of plastic peripherals for years, but what about those of the PC persuasion? Where are our seemingly Skittle-riddled, Fischer Price-friendly hunks of electronic bliss?
They’re in the future. Like jetpacks.
First up, Street Fighter IV – apparently afraid of being associated with this week’s feature flop – is laying low until summer. Well, probably. Capcom vice president, business development and strategic planning, Christian Svensson’s exact words were: "Let's say summer."
The game will likely come bundled with some “sticks and pads” – if you catch Svensson’s meaning. (We assume he means arcade sticks, though “Mad Catz” were also mentioned. This is why videogames confuse old people.)
In other, slightly vaguer peripheral-related news, Intel basically confirmed the existence of Guitar Hero World Tour on the PC. The King Kong of processors passed along a press release that acknowledged the game, and then just sort of stopped, as though the employee writing it finally reached the end of his/her Quake Live queue and abandoned their work to--