Fighting Game Community reacts to Street Fighter V PS4/PC exclusivity

Many fans of the Street Fighter franchise were surprised to learn that the next installment of the series, Street Fighter V, will be exclusive to PlayStation 4 and PCs, leaving Xbox One owners in the dust. While platform exclusivity for video games is a common way for console makers to lure in buyers, the decision to limit the availability of Street Fighter V—a video game that is also an e-sport—has ramifications for both novice and expert players who have grown comfortable with the Xbox.

We reached out to community personalities to hear their thoughts on the matter:

Sherry "Sherryjenix" Nhan, one of the most prominent female Street Fighter players, believes that, while the Xbox 360 was the main platform for Street Fighter 4 when it came to tournaments and online play, the possibility of cross-platform online play between PCs and the PlayStation 4 will help boost the current player pool.

SherryJenix SherryJenix believes the player pool will increase with cross-platform connectivity.

"I feel that online presence will increase tremendously due to the convenience of accessing a PC," Nhan wrote in an e-mail correspondence. "My only concern really would just be the netcode. The reason why the online scene is not too strong in Street Fighter currently is because of how hard it is to get a great connection with the other player without feeling any lag. If that issue is fixed with Street Fighter V, I think a lot of new doors will open for the Street Fighter scene."

David Graham, a former player-turned-commentator, believes that having Street Fighter V available on PCs from the get-go will circumvent most of the issues posed by PlayStation 4 exclusivity.

"From what I've read there are some places in the world where consoles are really expensive and PCs are more accessible," Graham said in a phone interview. "For more casual people I understand that it'll probably suck, but Microsoft has Killer Instinct and they're going to support that."

Graham thinks that having a console as the tournament standard will ultimately benefit the scene. "The experience is standard when you play on consoles, whereas PCs are variable in terms of equipment," says Graham. "If there is some level of difference between tournament PCs, it will be frustrating for the PC player."

Mike Ross, a popular Street Fighter player who rose to prominence after finishing second in a national GameStop tournament back in 2009, isn't too worried about Street Fighter V's exclusivity because fans of the franchise will buy the game regardless. Like Nhan, Ross is excited for the availability of cross-platform play:

"What made me really excited about the announcement was that PlayStation 4 players could now play against PC gamers. I feel like that was the missing link in Street Fighter IV," he said.

When asked about his thoughts on Xbox One owners wanting to get into Street Fighter V, Ross believes they'll probably end up upgrading their PCs. For professional gamers, Ross believes there will be a split between those who play on PC and those who play on consoles, though he is fairly certain that the tournament standard will be the PlayStation 4.

Mike Ross playing against a bot. Mike Ross playing against a bot.

Reacting to the Street Fighter V trailer, Ross says he really enjoyed how the game looked:

"While it's too early to say anything about the mechanics—we only saw Ryu and Chun-Li— I like the game's art direction. It really looks like what Capcom wanted Street Fighter IV to be."