I am in the admittedly small minority of exclusive PC gamers who are also fighting game enthusiasts. After Capcom’s panel at EVO, I struck up a conversation with one of the Capcom employees and got to ask a few PC specific questions. Nothing here is hugely ground breaking, but thought I would pass on what I learned for the interested. Further explanation after the bullet points.
Overall approach to PC gaming by Capcom
An in depth explanation for why SFxT has so many issues was provided.
Discontent over GFWL is well known.
Cross Platform considerations
APPROACH TO PC GAMING
The effort to get games to PC is driven almost entirely by Capcom USA. Source code isn’t even provided to the porting team until after the game is already live on consoles.
At the moment they are caught in a vicious cycle, summarized as follows:
Capcom Japan: We will let you develop for the PC simultaneously (and give it more attention) if you can demonstrate there is an audience for it. We haven’t seen it yet.
Capcom USA: That is because we give them shoddy ports with GFWL long after the console version is released. If you let us develop simultaneously so we can release it at the same time and solve bugs during production, and you will see there is a big audience there. We can’t prove it until you let us develop simultaneously.
Capcom Japan: That sounds fair- we will let you develop for PC simultaneously once you show the big audience is there.
Capcom USA: HURRRRR!
It was also mentioned off-handedly that Christian Stevenson is primarily to thank for getting things like AE on PC. They are continuing to work with Capcom Japan to try to do simultaneous development, but nothing that was said suggested this is close to being a reality.
In addition to the problem of only getting source code once the game is done and having to rush thing, the main wrench in the gears was the new netcode. Simplifying, the netcode is programmed in such a way that it utilizes a combination of your network connection and computing power to determine how many frames can be “rolled back” in the game to determine the results of your actions. This works fine on consoles.
It does not work fine on PCs. In essence, PCs have enough processing power that they can "rollback" many more frames than the PS3 or XBOX360. As a result, if one computer can rollback 7 frames while the other can only manage 4, you start having the issues that we all know SFxT has. It works on the consoles because the processing power is identical- everyone can roll back 3 frames and the problem is avoided. A fix for this issue is still being worked on.
They know we all hate it, and they hate it too. Nothing explicit was promised, but it was not-so-subtly suggested that we keep any eye out for news in this regard. At a minimum I would take this to mean that alternatives are being actively considered.
CROSS PLATFORM PLAY
It does not sound like this is a big priority in their eyes. I specifically mentioned Skullgirls, and was told that 2D games are much easier to do the netcode for. Nothing was said about it not being a possibility going forward, but it sounds like we definitely should not hold our breaths on this.
Hopefully there are a few other PC gamers out there who gained something out of the post.