As online becomes an increasingly important part of gaming, one genre has generally resisted the network-oriented push. Fighting titles were deemed too quick to put online, with developers generally agreeing that lag ruined the fighting experience. Last generation's iterations of Mortal Kombat were pioneers in the area, yet didn't require such split-second reactions when compared to a title like Virtua Fighter 5. However, beat-'em-up developers finally appear to be jumping on the online bandwagon as the latest EGM recently confirmed that Soul Calibur IV will feature online play when it hits the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 in 2008.
"What's changed this time round is that the next-gen platforms have network infrastructure already in place," says Soul Calibur IV Director Katsutoshi Sasaki. "We've heard from fans that they really want the game to be online, so we figured that, with the current environment, we really couldn't make SC4 without online play."
Give yourself a pat on the back, as developers really do listen to you (apparently). Also more good news: your customizable characters (the system introduced in SCIII is returning) will be playable online as well. "We definitely want to allow users to fight with their customized characters during online play. But we're unsure whether or not you'll be able to trade characters with friends."
More news on Soul Calibur IV when it's available.