Super Street Fighter IV can be hard to see: Opponents' DLC costumes are invisible to PlayStation Network players who haven't also purchased the outfits. On Xbox Live, there's a simple solution in free "Catalog" add-ons that install the DLC assets on a user's hard drive, in order to show them worn on online opponents who have purchased and dressed up in the alternate costumes. To date, the free updates have not been offered on PSN. They likely never will be -- and Capcom tells us why.
"When you add new data to an existing product, there are significant costs to do so charged by the first parties," Capcom community shepherd Seth Killian explained in a forum post on the topic of the "invisible" PSN costumes. "On XBL, those costs were covered by Microsoft," and thus the Catalog DLC is free to download.
"For Sony, those significant costs are not covered," Killian added. "The story is a bit more complicated because the costs of adding new data vary by region in some cases, and some additions are free, or free within a certain timeframe, etc., but the bottom line in this particular case is that Sony would [have] charged Capcom significant fees for distributing the new costume data to users that hadn't actually bought the DLC."
The story is indeed more complicated: In a sense, the Catalog updates aren't free, since the only Xbox Live users that benefit from them are Gold members who play SSFIV online. And, of course, Gold subscribers pay a fee for that privilege, which in turn allows Microsoft to cover the costs of updates like the costume data. Do we sense a new Plus perk in the making?