The British Board of Film Classification has pretty much confirmed that Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition is on the way. Aside from the game featuring roughly seven minutes of new cutscenes, no additional information was provided.
SSFIV: AE is an updated re-release of Super Street Fighter IV with four additional characters and tweaks the balance of the game. It should be noted that Capcom has not announced any plans to release AE as a retail product or as DLC. It could be both. Yoshinori Ono, the producer of the SFIV series, has been teasing an announcement for many months now. It’s likely that we’ll learn more in April during Captivate.
While initial reactions to yet another re-release of Street Fighter IV might be a questionable practice to many, there are some benefits to a disc based release. Since the game is intended for hardcore fans, it’s far easier to have a disc at hand for events. Can you imagine going over to a friends house for some SSFIV action only to learn that AE wasn’t purchased? That would be rather inconvenient. Seeing as AE changes the balance of the game, it’s more than just having new characters to play as. This could essentially fracture the online community.
That said, it would be nice if Capcom also released AE as DLC to appease both audiences. Unless there’s more to it than what we know, it’s not like the changes or additions are anywhere near as significant as they were in Super Street Fighter IV. That was clearly a product that justified a re-release since it offered so much. The same can’t be said for Arcade Edition as of right now unless you fall within a very specific audience.
Update: According to the BBFC website, SSFIV: AE releases on Friday, June 24th.