Super Street Fighter IV AE PC Specs Released;"Limited" Offline Mode Detailed
Capcom's Senior VP and Corporate Officer posted on his blog yesterday, detailing many different facets of the PC release of the newest version of Street Fighter IV.
These details include the required and recommended PC specs (hit the source link above to see those), new factors in matchmaking, utilization of Games for Windows Live, and the "limited" offline functionality.
For matchmaking, Capcom has made a change to help keep one player's limited specs or carefree attitude towards framerate from effecting others in online play. On top of all the usual factors for matching players, they will now consider the grade in the game's benchmarking tool, in hopes to match players that have good framerates with other players that have good framerates, and so on. It's a really cool idea that makes it so players don't lose matches due to lag and slowdown caused by opponents.
For that online play, Capcom has chosen to use Microsoft's Games for Windows Live service. This means you'll have to register for a GfW account, if you don't have one and don't have an Xbox Live account. Whenever you start the game, you'll be prompted to log in, and, if you don't have internet access at the time, your offline play is going to be significantly hampered.
In an effort to fight piracy, Capcom has severely cut the offline functionality of the game. There is no access to any of the online features of the game, such as online play and replay channels, which makes perfect sense, but there are other limitations. If you're not logged in to GfW when playing, you can't save settings, you can't save progress in challenges, you can't access any of the DLC you've bought, and only 15 of the game's 39 characters will be available for play.
Personally, I think they take it a bit too far. Not accessing DLC, I think I could live with that. Simple things like being unable to save progress or save settings is annoying, but I can deal with that. If I'm offline, I just won't play challenges. But to take away over 60% of the available characters, it's just too much. If my internet goes down, and I still want to play Street Fighter, it's more likely that the character I want to play is unavailable than he/she is. I'm all for clever ways to dissuade pirates, but this is taking too much from paying customers at the same time.