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Capcom is location-testing a new Ultra Street Fighter 4 controller that's optimized for Rufus's Focus Attack cancel into grab

Posted by Cheng Kai 'KarbyP' Sim • March 20, 2015 at 12:17 p.m. PDT • Comments: 35

Okay, so maybe we're exaggerating a little when we say that Capcom is location-testing a new Ultra Street Fighter 4 controller that's optimized for Rufus's Focus Attack cancel into grab technique.

But it is true that they're currently holding location tests, from March 20 to 24, at the Shinjuku Taito Station for USF4 machines outfitted with a Hori six-button game pad on top of the standard joystick controls, and that the Hori pad controls are set up with a button configuration that makes performing Rufus's Focus Attack cancel into grab tech a cinch.

Here's what the controller, and its button configuration looks like. The last picture in the gallery shows Capcom's Assistant Producer for USF4 Tomoaki Ayano playing at Shinjuku Taito Station with a very special player title reserved exclusively for the makers of the game.

Click images for larger versions

In case you don't quite understand what the slightly blurry text in that enlarged version of the first image says (this was the only resolution the image was available at), on top of your standard six face buttons, the L1 and L2 shoulder buttons on the left are for 3x punches and 3x kicks, respectively, while the R1 and R2 buttons are for LP+LK and MP+MK. So to perform Rufus's focus-cancelled grab, all you have to down is hit the back direction on the gamepad, and hit R2 and R1 in quick succession.

A start button is also located somewhere in the center of the gamepad, above and slightly to the left of the LP button.

The button configuration appears to not be remappable, and Capcom Japan is seeking feedback on the controller (from those who've tried it) through this user survey here. I think it would have been really nice if Capcom had made the start button be mapped to one of the shoulder buttons, so that pad users can easily plink LP, but that doesn't seem like it'll happen.

Why is Capcom holding location tests for gamepad-style controls for its USF4 arcade machines now? That's a good question, and Capcom's Tomoaki Ayano did not provide any explanation as to why that is. But with arcade-going rates slowly dipping in Japan, it makes sense for Capcom and Japanese arcade chain owner Taito to be looking into equipping their fighting game cabinets with gamepads -- it just might encourage more console players to come down to arcades for a lag-free playing experience.

Here's what Ayano had to say about the location tests, on the official Saikyo blog:

We've got some new Ultra Street Fighter 4 information today!

From March 20 (Friday) to March 24 (Tuesday) we're carrying out location tests at the Taito Station Shinjuku South Exit Game World branch for machines equipped with a console-version game controller!

Earlier this morning I've already given the controller play style a whirl, and played some battles. Although the thought of playing the AC version of the game with a consle-version controller is quite refreshing, this play style did not feel unnatural to me at all.

After all, in the first place I've played quite a bit of Hakan on the game pad in the console version of USF4. But even though I've got experience playing on the pad, I still lost in my fights at the arcade...

Oh, Ayano, I don't think the loss had anything to do with you playing on a pad instead of a joystick...

Source: Capcom's Saikyo blog and @Kim1234.
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