Oh boy, here we go. I for one will not be putting a lot of faith into Capcom for this until we see it. For more perspectives, AH contributors Kevin Williams and Aaron Auzins weigh in on the possibilities, after the jump
Kevin Williams (of The Stinger Report):
The original decision to abandon the amusement scene, with the September statement regarding this latest release (SSFIV) was obviously not set in stone!
The Asian AM take-up on SFIV has been immense and Capcom has found it difficult to support this interest. That said, this amusement interest has benefited Taito and their distribution arm as much as it has Capcom – as the game runs on the VEWLIX and Type-X² hardware. For Capcom they had lost control of the title in this sector; where the new SSFIV release (now minus DIMPS) will be 100 per cent theirs own.
A number of Japanese and American player forum have proffered another way to read the claimed abandonment of the arcade scene by Capcom— that is that the gloss has been lost from the Street Fighter amusement title, the lack of updates and support of the promised NESYS has allowed other new fighting games to take the top spot on player charts. Possibly some at Capcom R&D felt it unprofitable to compete in the AM battle, focused on the greater prize of consumer sales?
During all this a complicated three way executive battle inside the halls of Capcom has erupted. Days after the first airing of the GameRectorTV interview and rumblings had started. The head of the Capcom AM executives had been furious with the statement from a producer, and demanded that it be recounted – the next day a hurried statement was posted on the official company blog stating “It’s not that an arcade version of Super Street Fighter IV isn’t possible. That’s one thing I really want to get out there, that we never said to give up on an arcade version.”
Off the record the AM executive division chastised both Capcom JP and US producers, in an internal memo, for interfering in “…an industry and market they have no independent knowledge of; a valuable and important component of our current and future business – including complicated partnerships, impacted by unprofessional statements!” It was revealed to the Stinger that over the past days of the original interview statement Capcom and Taito have been inundated with complaints from amusement operators and loyal fans, for claiming to abandon the amusement scene – the company now having to work on a damage limitation strategy, forcing their hand to release a new coin-op version!
The question will have to be, will the console sector be the only place where a new Street Fighter title will be seen, or will the bootleggers yet again, be first to fill the vacuum?
Through a good portion of the day, Japanese sources have been throwing up pieces left and right in regard to Super Street Fighter IV. It seems the Japanese press has got Capcom talking about the game and for those concerned, a few mentions of Japanese arcades have popped up. While this by no means confirms an arcade update, sources such as
assistant producer “Nakky”‘s blog have indicated an arcade version of Super Street Fighter IV is “in consideration.”
The big announcement for the day was the clear indication that Dee Jay will return to the roster, fleshing out three of the “eight or so” characters that will be introduced into the Super Street Fighter IV list. Quick descriptions indicate that the returning characters are continuing off of their former storylines – since Super Street Fighter
II, Dee Jay has actually been successful in his music career, selling millions of records and T. Hawk is still a little peeved over “Dictator” killing his father. The new character, which has been identified as Juri by Capcom Unity (since the Japanese replace “l” with “r,” I thought it could have sounded like Julie at first), practices Tae Kwan Do and sports an artificial eye that functions as a weapon developed by the S.I.N. organization.
Of course, the original arcade Street Fighter IV limited the game to 17 playable characters plus the hidden CPU Gouken, so an arcade update with the full content would nearly (or actually, if more than 8 are introduced) double the rosters for Japanese arcade enthusiasts. This is definitely a far cry from the “upgrades” Capcom traditionally dished out with the Street Fighter II series. The title also was featured in a huge breakdown on Famitsu.com, delving not only into the new characters, but the tweaking of the game. I’m not sure what this will entail, but a section of the paragraph mentions “the addition of a new grapple system” and an extensive rebalancing of the console version’s 25 characters.
Only time will tell if the expansion lands on arcades, which would predictably work very well as the arcade machine has had a dedicated following and being able to switch the game up for an upgraded version in an old cabinet would no doubt be a welcome addition to arcade owners’ collections all over the world. Given how much has already been exclusive to the consoles, Super Street Fighter IV would undoubtedly be a huge leap for the game in arcades. Today’s information has made it clear the real focus is on the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions of the standalone title and its upgraded online capabilities, but at least a chunk of people can breathe a little easier knowing an arcade version hasn’t been completely shot down yet. EVO interviews with Street Fighter IV champion Diago noted Super Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix isn’t available in Japan and he
believes the title would make a huge impact in arcades so at least someone believes in the cause.
Famitsu.com = http://www.famitsu.com/game/news/1227966_1124.html