TGS 2008: Street Fighter IV Console Hands-On

We try both the PS3 and Xbox 360 versions of the upcoming brawler, as well as spend some quality time with everyone's favourite fighting schoolgirl, Sakura.

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TOKYO--With Street Fighter IV only months away from release on the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360, it's little wonder that Capcom has dedicated quite a lot of space in its TGS booth to the home version of the reinvigorated franchise. The Japanese game company had 20 units set up at its booth--10 each for the PS3 and 360--and we managed to take in a few bouts on both versions during today's show shenanigans.

Sakura gets punchy with Ryu.
Sakura gets punchy with Ryu.

All of the Street Fighter IV games playable at TGS featured eight-button arcade sticks, although they didn't seem to be the official sticks that Capcom is reportedly working with peripheral maker Mad Catz to produce. All 12 of the playable characters who appeared in the arcade versions were available for play, as was hidden character Akuma (known as Gouki in Japan). There was no sign of other rumoured included characters for the home versions, such as Cammy, Fei Long, Dan, or arcade boss Seth (or even of superhidden character Gouken), but in a nice surprise, perky schoolgirl and Ryu-wannabe Sakura was playable.

Just as with the original world warriors, Sakura's look in Street Fighter IV sticks extremely closely to the design seen in her debut in the Street Fighter Alpha series (she still sports her trademark short blue skirt, red sneakers, and red sparring gloves). Her move list also remains the same: a weaker version of Ryu's hadouken, a modified shoryuken with a small run-up, and her own tatsumaki senpuukyaku spinning kick. We played several rounds with Sakura and found her to control as well as she did during the Alpha games. She's got greater speed than Ken or Ryu, but does quite a bit less damage, which means that you'll have to rely on smart combos to get past bulkier characters.

The console versions of Street Fighter IV are looking as pretty as its arcade counterparts, though we'll need a lot more play time to give a final verdict. As for the perennial fanboy fave question--which console looks better--our play time showed very little difference between the 360 and PS3 versions, although we did notice a slightly longer load time between bouts on the PS3 game.

Street Fighter IV is due for release on the PS3 and Xbox 360 in February 2009. Check back with GameSpot soon for more updates.

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