SFII on Xbox Live: what's taking so long?

While attention has largely been drawn to the barrage of new titles announced for Xbox Live during E3, those gamers who prefer flaming punches to plummeting blocks are likely to have wondered as to the whereabouts of one of Capcom's most revered franchises. Way back in January, Microsoft revealed that Street Fighter II: Hyper Fighting was destined to hit Xbox Live Arcade in March. An accompanying Capcom press release was more vague and instead claimed that the title was due for release in "early 2006." It seems neither one was correct.

A June 10th release was most recently rumored, but that has since been crushed by the Capcom PR machine and replaced with a friendly notice that reads: We'll tell you about it "sometime in the near future." It's hard not to be amused by this situation, especially given the deadly efficiency at which Capcom has released Street Fighter II games in the past few years. You'd think it would be second nature to append Hyper Fighting, a game that's already been made, to a list that includes Street Fighter II Turbo, Street Fighter II Special Champion Edition, Street Fighter II The World Warrior, Street Fighter II The New Challengers, Street Fighter II Anniversary Edition and Street Fighter II Ultra Supreme College 2K6 For The Win Alpha Championship: Fourth Beating.

This isn't the first time the series has gone online either, so the explanation that poor net code is holding them back doesn't seem entirely effective. Perhaps the thing that's more frustrating than waiting so long for a classic game to be emulated on a $400 console (dubious d-pad and all) is the lack of information regarding a release date. Or worse yet, what about the price?