Deets and dates for SFIV Championship Mode

The long awaited – some may say long overdue – Championship Mode for Street Fighter IV hits Xbox LIVE and PlayStation Network on April 24, and here are all the details. The downloadable expansion will, as promised, considerably dress up the currently threadbare online action of the game, all for the price of precisely nothing. Yup, it’s free.

This is how it works: Championship Mode is all about tournament play. Win a tournament match and you will receive Grade Points (GP). The more GP you amass, the higher tournament level you can enter. There are five different tournament levels to make your way through, effectively creating a kind-of tournament matchmaking process.

In addition to this, tournament winners will receive Championship Points (CP). Capcom describe CP as “prize money,” with differing quantities awarded depending on the GP of the players featuring in that particular tournament. Character selection is now “double-blind”, so there will be no more of that ridiculous counter-picking business going on. Also, quitters – those that quit before a defeat can be added to their stats – will be punished. No, not by being stabbed in the eye repeatedly by me (although that would be so satisfying), but by having GP deducted. Take that, quitters!

There’s more too. The 5000 players with the most GP have the option to upload vids of their fights for all to see online. From there, it gets console specific: PS3 owners can vote on the vids in real time on action they think is “funny,” “awesome,” or “beautiful.” Xbox 360 owners meanwhile, can save their matches and play them back later to watch and analyze what inputs are being er… inputted.

Of course, a lot of this stuff should have been included from the very beginning. But it’s free, it’s happening next week and it is pretty awesome. For more info, pop along to S-Kill’s blog.

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