I wasn’t one of the privileged hundreds of people who got test out any of the Street Fighter 6 closed beta. To be fair, I really didn’t try because, for one thing, I didn’t apply to get in. The reason why is any of the closed beta tests weren’t going to work on my old, beat down PlayStation 4. I could’ve still gotten to play it since I’ve upped my PC to become a pretty reputable gaming rig. But I really wanted to see how Capcom would get something that should be made for current gen technology to work on a last gen hardware. We all know Street Fighter 6 would be optimized to work on better tech like the PlayStation 5. My morbid curiosity wanted to see what Capcom would have to do to get it to work on PlayStation 4. I’m weird like that.
Well, I finally got my my wish recently as Capcom revealed that they were releasing a demo of Street Fighter 6 for only the PlayStation 5 and PlayStation 4, with the Xbox Series X/S and PC getting one a week later. This led me to immediately boot up my aging Sony console to download it. Now that I’ve had a good couple of hours playing it, I can finally give my thoughts on how it all worked out. Think of this as a public service advisory for those thinking of getting the PlayStation 4 version.
The first thing I’ll mention about the PlayStation 4 demo of Street Fighter 6 is that it has everything that the PlayStation 5 version has. Meaning it has everything from the Fighting Ground section which lets you mess around with two characters: Luke and Ryu. This was my first time playing any version of Street Fighter 6 so I did go to this mode first because I wanted to get a feel of the new fighting engine and how the fighters feel. This is because I was afraid Capcom would screw over PlayStation 4 owners with a subpar version.
Fortunately, Street Fighter 6’s Fighting Ground on the PlayStation 4 does feel very good in general. I really didn’t notice anything egregious, at least. I don’t have a fancy fight stick or anything of the sort; I tried playing it on the regular PlayStation 4 controller and I didn’t notice anything off. Performing quarter circle and dragon punch motions were pretty easy to pull off on both the D-pad and the analog sticks. I didn’t feel any input delays with my button presses but I will say doing combos were a little tricky initially. But I suspect that’s only because I’m not used to Street Fighter 6’s timing. I was able to adapt eventually. So far so good.
The graphics on the PlayStation 4 looks incredible if you look at it in a bubble. The character models are impressive, with Luke and Ryu looking great but they do come off looking rather shiny and flat looking. There is a tinge of motion blurring when they do big movements like the initial jumping frames but it’s not too distracting. The stages do have a rather washed out look to them. While not exactly ugly, there is a very noticeable low-res quality to the background images.
While this sounds all well and good, we do have to talk about the biggest issue: the loading times. They’re not atrociously long as the loading times found in Street Fighter 5 but you do feel the second tick away after you pick a character. It certainly doesn’t help that there’s a split second delay when highlighting either Luke or Ryu and when they load up on your side of the character select screen. It may not seem like much but this will be a big problem for online players as, if Capcom implements crossplay between systems, fighters with quick loading hard drives like the ones found on the PlayStation 5 will hate PlayStation 4 owners as they’d have to wait some precious seconds before jumping into a match.
So Fighting Ground is passable. But what about the meat of the demo, which is the preview of World Tour? This seems like a very ambitious project for Capcom and it looks like they’re positioning to be the newbie’s entrance to Street Fighter as a whole. I will say my experience with World Tour mode was fine but the PlayStation 4’s limitations are far more evident here.
The biggest issue was the overabundance of low resolution textures. They’re there in Fighting Ground but they’re mostly in the background so they’re not really that obvious. In World Tour mode, they’re much more front and center. I understand if Capcom didn’t use high resolution skins for things far away in the background. But even in the limited area of the demo, things can get ugly. Even things like like the signs and the posters that are right beside your created character can look really janky. It makes the high resolution character models, namely your character and the main NPCs, look like they’re doing something against a green screen.
And it’s not like the game even attempts to load a clean, high resolution skin after a second or two. No, you’re stuck with those jagged images for the entire World Tour! In one segment of the World Tour demo, you have to fight off Alice’s brothers and the game will zoom in on the letter C on the jacket of one of them. It looks like someone plastered on pixel art on it. Oh, it’s very detailed pixel art but pixel art nonetheless.
I also have to mention that I don’t like how my PlayStation 4 sounded while I was in the Create A Character part of World Tour. The fan just turned on full blast for some weird reason. It sounded like it was taxiing on an airfield and just waiting for air traffic control to give it the go ahead to take off! You would think the game would ask for more power during the gameplay segments, when things are moving all fast and split second timing is a must. But, no. The most taxing process my PlayStation 4 has to handle in Street Fighter 6 was having to decide what hair color I wanted. Really weird.
Does all of this mean Street Fighter 6 on the PlayStation 4 is an unmitigated disaster? Well, I wouldn’t go as far to say that. The framerate looks very solid so the gameplay is not going to feel like a laggy mess. I did have a lot of fun playing around with Fighting Ground as, after some time getting accustomed to the game engine, I was able to pull off combos without much of a hassle. Most of the problems lie with World Tour mode because of the really noticeable low resolutions textures all over the place. If the only option you have is the PlayStation 4 version right now, then go ahead. But the instant you get something more current, switch to that version of Street Fighter 6 as fast as you can. Your eyes will thank you.
Have you tried out the Street Fighter 6 demo? What are your thoughts on it? Let me know in the comments section below!