A wave of excitement hit the internet when Sega revealed that Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown was real. Some leaks and rumors had spoiled the official announcement, but it was excellent to see the beloved series making a return on modern platforms. Sadly, some things about this new port will be tethered to the past, specifically with regards to its online play. In an email to Kotaku, Sega confirmed that Ultimate Showdown will not feature rollback netcode for its online play.
The reason for the lack of rollback? According to Sega, Ultimate Showdown is built off of the same foundation that Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown was. The game may be running on Ryu Ga Gotoku Studios’ Dragon Engine, but this is more of a port than a full remake. As such, delay-based netcode is still in and we’re all about to party like it’s 2010.
In the last few years, members of the fighting game community have been putting pressure on developers to adopt rollback netcode for their latest games. Arc System Works was originally against the idea, but the upcoming Guilty Gear Strive will debut with an implementation that is leaps and bounds better than anything we’ve seen in the past.
SNK, as well, has been updating ports of its classic titles with rollback support, bringing new life to older games. Rollback isn’t a catch-all for shoddy netcode (as evidenced by Street Fighter 5’s lackluster online performance), but it certainly works better across longer distances than traditional methods. It’s sad to hear that Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown may be hampered out of the gate, but there is always hope that Sega can change things down the line.
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