UPDATE: Sony have commented, saying "we're not commenting". Guess that was to be expected.
Capcom have unveiled a teaser trailer for Street Fighter V ahead of tonight Game Awards,with the company announcing that the latest game in the beat-em-up series will be heading exclusively to PlayStation 4 and PC.
Street Fighter V marks the latest third-party title exclusive by one new-gen console platform or another, and yet there seems to be little sign of the massive backlash that accompanied Microsoft's Tomb Raider exclusivity announcement at Gamescom, nor the outrage that met the news that Bayonetta 2 would only be available on Wii U.
One of Capcom's most bankable franchises, Street Fighter has been a multiplatform series for years, but with this latest news suggesting that the next Street Fighter game will be a PS4 console exclusive, one wonders what's been at play behind the scenes.
Is this a sign of a change in strategy at Sony? Microsoft have been gathering momentum under Phil Spencer, and the Tomb Raider news would have been a wake up call for the Japanese company. With Sony effectively doubling down on PlayStation (being that it's the only profitable department that they have these days), it stands to reason that Sony would look to flash some cash for a big return. Street Fighter would certainly be a big return for them.
It's a good fit for the Playstation brand too, with Street Fighter vs Tekken surely on the cards to come if this exclusivity announcement is an indication of things to come. That's purely speculative, of course, but it would make sense to see that crossover partnership fostered and developed further on the PS4.
It's important to note that we have no idea of the fine details at the time of writing. The trailer itself was pulled moments after it leaked. It's possible that this could be a timed exclusive in the same way that Tomb Raider is a timed exclusive. We're waiting on comment from both Sony and Microsoft at this point.
But signs point towards an all out bidding war for choice third-party titles. Street Fighter makes a little more sense to public eyes than Tomb Raider perhaps simply because the Xbox brand has never really been too closely associated with the fighting genre they way PlayStation has. I don't really count Killer Instinct in that respect, as that wasn't an Xbox brand to begin with in the same way that Tekken, for example, is inextricably tied to Sony's consoles. Let's not forgot either, that Tomb Raider was a PlayStation console exclusive long before Microsoft got their paws on it.
So where do we go next? Well, to the Game Awards for starters. But if this announcement is anything to go by, it's both an exciting and worrying time to be a console partisan. Exciting because both companies appear to be willing to throw large amounts of money around to secure exclusives for their respective systems, but worrying because, at the end of the day, taking third-party titles off of the market like this ultimately means that a large chunk of consumers don't get to play games that one might otherwise expect to be multiplatform.
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