Good news for subscribers to Microsoft's Xbox Live service today as two free demos augment what looks like a final date for the pant-wettingly exciting Street Fighter II outing, ending speculation (almost) that we might not see Capcom's 2D fighter until summer.
The first demo is Q Entertainment's (Lumines, Meteos) not Dynasty Warriors hack and slash Ninety Nine Nights. Debuting in Japan, the demo will be offered over Live as well as a free give-away to consumers from retail outlets. Microsoft has openly expressed its high hopes for Mizuguchi's epic battler, pegging it alongside Dead or Alive as one of the key 360 offerings intended to crack Japan.
The demo is shipping in the East at an undisclosed date this month, and no news of a US or European version was offered.
The next demo expected is Ubisoft's 157th Tom Clancy game, Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter. Again, no specific date was offered, though it is expected that a single map multiplayer taster will be offered in Europe and the US within 30 days.
Saving the best for last, it looks as though the wait for online Street Fighter II is almost over. Credible reports have confirmed gossip reaching SPOnG of late indicating a release across the globe on the week of the 27th February this year. As you'll be aware, it was feared that licensing issues had hampered the release, forcing it back as late as summer.
The title to be offered will be Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting Edition - news met with mixed emotion by the SF faithful. There is still no announcement as to, well, anything on the game's release right now. No price has been announced, not has it been explained exactly how the game will work. Capcom has mentioned a “Quarter Mode” which is expected to form part of what will be a winner-stays-on experience.
Updates as we get them.