Despite the fact that Capcom's Street Fighter series has made itself at home on consoles and, to a lesser extent, handhelds (the Nintendo 3DS version of Super Street Fighter IV is one of the best fighting games on the platform second only to Super Smash Bros.), the fighting phenomenon feels like it belongs in the arcades. Born there with the original Street Fighter and of course taking the world by storm with Street Fighter II, the series was producing arcade versions as recently as Street Fighter IV in 2010 despite the arcade scene's demise in many regions. Poor Street Fighter V — an excellent fighting game bogged down by DLC and microtransaction issues — is the first in the series not to land in the arcades. At least, until now. EventHubs reports that the game is finally coming to the arcades although not in a way that you'd expect.
An announcement was made at Toushinsai today, after the tournament festivities was over. Toushinsai is an arcade-only event, and as such had tournaments in Ultra Street Fighter IV and King of Fighters XIII, which naturally felt a bit out of place since both series have just had new games released this year. Thankfully, both series' developers were at hand to announce that come next year, they can play the newest version, since both of the games are coming to arcades.
Street Fighter V won't quite be getting an arcade version in the traditional sense, but instead will have PC stations placed in arcades that allow arcade players to battle each other through the PC version of Street Fighter V.
It's better than nothing, sure, but I see a useful reason for Street Fighter V to cross over into the arcades besides simply maintaining a presence there. If the arcade-tweaked PC version includes all DLC and microstransactional content unlocked and available for players to use, then this version could serve as a demo station of sorts for that material. If I can sample an add-on character in the arcade, I might be more interested in paying to unlock that character at home. It's an extremely roundabout way of providing a free taste of paid content, but I'd certainly be willing to give it a try. Of course, assuming that I found a Street Fighter V arcade machine around here. For now it sounds like these machines are destined only for Japan.