October 24 correction: As of 10/24, the first wave’s cast of characters has been made available for play. This was not listed in the original beta notes.
Capcom released the second wave of Street Fighter V’s open beta testing in the wee hours earlier this morning, bringing with it new features not present in the first wave. Among these are a new set of characters – Ken, Necalli, Vega, R. Mika, Rashid, and Karin – and cross-platform play between PS4 and PC players. The first wave’s characters – Ryu, Chun-Li, M. Bison, Nash, Cammy, and Birdie – will not be available for play.
The beta’s full schedule was posted by Peter “Combofiend” Rosas, Capcom USA’s community manager, on Capcom’s website earlier this week. Though the sequence of events he lists is accurate, the times and dates at which each event happens seems to have been shifted back by about a day.
10/21/15 18:00 PST (10/22 02:00 BST/10:00 JST) – The second SFV beta begins for PS4 users. Characters available: Ken, Necalli, Vega, R. Mika
10/22/15 14:00 PST (22:00 BST/ 10/23 06:00 JST) – Servers down for scheduled maintenance for 12 hours.
10/23/15 02:00 PST (10:00 BST/18:00 JST) – Servers back online. Rashid unlocked.
10/23/15 09:00 PST (17:00 BST/ 10/24 01:00 JST) – The second SFV beta begins for both PC and PS4 users (cross-platform play).
10/23/15 17:00 PST (10/24 01:00 BST/09:00 JST) – Karin unlocked.
10/24/15 04:00 PST (12:00 BST/20:00 JST) – Servers down for scheduled maintenance for 10 hours.
10/24/15 14:00 PST (22:00 BST/ 10/25 06:00 JST) – Servers back online.
10/25/15 16:00 PST (10/26 0:00 BST/ 08:00 JST) – Beta 2 concludes.
Street Fighter V is Capcom’s latest installment in the long-running series of Street Fighter one-on-one fighting games, set to release in Spring 2016. Both the beta and the game itself represent a marked shift in Capcom’s game design sensibilities. Cross-platform play can potentially widen a game’s playerbase, as well as provide valuable insights into both the nuances of networking hardware and the ways in which players form communities and share their knowledge with one another. The open beta format, meanwhile, is a powerful method for ironing out design flaws and bugs through maintaining close contact with the game’s community. This is the first time Capcom has explored either of these possibilities. The game itself seems to harken back to older Street Fighter titles in its design, most notably the Street Fighter Alpha series’ emphasis on fast movement and careful spacing, while streamlining the features that make each character unique by introducing the V-Trigger mechanic, which players must activate to unleash their character’s most defining and powerful abilities.
The beta is also a learning experience for Capcom. As stated above, this is Capcom’s first foray into the open beta testing format, so glitches and server mishaps are to be expected (the open beta format also doubles as a stress test for Capcom’s servers). Players are asked to bear with any server shutdowns that may occur during the beta, all in the name of a better final product.
Since Street Fighter V’s release still has a ways to go, this will not be the game’s last open beta. Keep your eyes peeled for new characters and announcements in the coming months. In the meantime, you can pre-order the game right now on Steam to join the current beta and get in on the brawling action.