Ultra Street Fighter IV app

Yoshinori Ono on Twitter just tweeted that Ultra Street Fighter IV will be seeing an official frame data app. Along with another game I’m massively looking forward to, Mario Kart 8, it adds further weight to the argument that playing a game during game sessions is no longer enough from a business or true gamer perspective; you have to tide gamers over in-between gaming sessions and keep them interested in the product with things like game apps.

Capcom have had a decent stab at porting some of their fighters to touch screen devices, but anyone who’s halfway into those type of games will ultimately find touch screen controls severely limiting and ultimately frustrating. Releasing second screen/off-screen/not-near-a-tv-screen (?!) apps which compliment the console core content make a lot of sense; consumers benefit by gaining access to useful information they might not otherwise have easily to-hand and video game producers make a decent amount from app sales.

It’s interesting to see the different approaches of Nintendo and Capcom to their upcoming game-accompanying apps; the Mario Kart 8 app will probably act equally as well as a draw to new gamers and help encourage sales by showcasing race highlights, whereas the Ultra Street Fighter IV app looks like it might cater for the hardcore fighting game crowd.

If Capcom produced an app which helped newcomers to Street Fighter learn the game, or helped share matches across social media, then they would surely grow their user base.

Reading between the lines; Street Fighter V to arrive on next-gen consoles

Interesting report on EventHubs.com on a few things FGC-related (including whether UMvC3’s fighting engine might be re-used in future titles). While I know there’s a group of players who love them some UMvC3, I never really liked the engine (too frantic), but it’s the next potential Street Fighter news I was eager to read about (if any).

Amongst what Christian Svennson said I found this the most interesting:

We have a current gen that is losing some steam at retail (retail software revenues down approximately 27% year to date) and our more recent fighting efforts did not fare as well as I would have liked, contributing to that downward turn. We have a looming next generation of hardware coming.

… And as you know, it takes literally years (multiple) to make a game. It’s going to be a little while until we’re ready to talk about what’s next.

From the sounds of that I’d bet on a big Capcom fighting game to feature in the launch windows of Microsoft and Sony’s next-gen consoles. The development time frame would fit in order to coincide with console updates towards the end of 2013. According to fan logic, the next big fighting games we’re likely to see are new Darkstalkers or Street Fighter releases (I don’t think Capcom would want to saturate the delicately-balanced market with a new Capcom vs. SNK right now). Darkstalkers would probably make more sense on current-gen hardware as I doubt Capcom would want to leave it another year or so before launching another fighting game and the projected numbers from sales from a Darkstalkers are likely to be good, but not exactly mind-blowing.

That leaves me thinking Street Fighter V will appear on the next generation of home consoles. Street Fighter is Capcom’s biggest fighting game. Capcom did well out of SSFIV launching at the same time of the Nintendo 3DS console. I’m guessing Capcom realises sales of the troubled Street Fighter x Tekken might’ve been a lot healthier on PSVita than they likely will be had it featured in the launch window of Sony’s troubled handheld console.

Street Fighter V on a new Xbox or PS4 could be amazing. While I’m not the biggest fan of the 2.5D graphics in Street Fighter IV I think Capcom did an amazing job otherwise. I don’t think they’d want to undermine their premier fighting game franchise by releasing another update to SFIV and then spend a lot of time and resources trying to hype up the FGC with news of a new Street Fighter V months later on a new console.

Capcom have made mistakes recently but in a way I’m glad they made them now *after* the release of the amazing Street Fighter IV and not while attempting to revive that franchise. Hopefully Street Fighter V will take full advantage of the power of a new console, offer enhanced online modes and ways to share in the excitement of the game (before, during and after the console has been turned on) and in launching during a new hardware window take advantage of plenty of gamers eager to buy (any) titles which test out their new hardware purchases. Capcom will know it’s a great way to attract new punters into a world they might not have bought into otherwise and then hopefully keep them there.

Street Fighter x Tekken sales

Interesting to hear that Street Fighter x Tekken hasn’t hit the sales targets Capcom were expecting. Can’t say I’m surprised as I’m firmly in the “disappointed” camp after buying the Special Edition version of the game (and this is from someone who absolutely loves the various flavours of Street Fighter IV).

Great discussion in the comments that are well worth reading. Trying to get something down on computer about the whole topic but brain too full right now (for a change).

Capcom Fight Club

Attended the first Capcom Fight Club and enjoyed it. Reminded me of the arcade scene around the late 90s; lots of people gathered in the same room(s) just enjoying games. Vibe to the event was good, although it was way over-subscribed and queue-jumpers really took the piss out of anyone else who’d queued for hours (like I did). The queue was single or double-file around 6pm, but by 7pm it was easily 5-file in width throughout. Wish Capcom did pre-registration like they did when they threw their Marvel vs Capcom 3 session before Christmas in London last year.

Still, the event was enjoyable. Street Fighter x Tekken looks really good (didn’t get a chance to play unfortunately), and I’ll be getting Third Strike: Online Edition when it’s released next week. To cap a good evening off, I managed to get the producer of the Street Fighter IV series, Yoshinori Ono, to sign my joystick.