Update: In light of reactions, Capcom is currently considering a better protection system, asking users for suggestions and feedback in the forums right here. Our favourite: "If we promised to "sunset" those protections in the event of a crack being created so that legitimate users don't have a substandard experience to pirates, is that an acceptable solution?" Answer: yes.
PC fans looking forward to making the big leap from Street Fighter IV to Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition should know a few things first. Besides the previously reported new features, the DRM this time around is a little disconcerting.
Capcom has previously expressed concern about the level of piracy for Street Fighter IV, so this time they'll be harsher than before. At first glance the system isn't too different: you must sign up to Games for Windows LIVE if you haven't already, and sign in offline or online for play. The big difference this time is much more limited offline functionality: besides the expected lack of online features, you won't be able to save your progress in challenges or settings, won't have access to DLC, and local play will be restricted to 15 out of the 39 characters. Ouch. As for when your connection is interrupted, Capcom says you'll continue as normal until exiting to a menu or similar, where you'll be asked to sign in. From there, things will resume as expected.
Sidenotes: there are no install limits, and DLC will be supported through GfWL.
Besides the obvious desire to minimize piracy, part of the reason for this is to maintain fair play -- Capcom says last time around pirates and hackers skewed matters quite a bit. With this more strict approach, you can expect a better experience (granted, at the potential expense of limited play).
On the lighter side, and in keeping with the aim of improving the online play, the benchmark this time will be a factor in matchmaking, so you're more likely to be pitted against a fellow with an equally built rig to yours, thereby avoiding terrible lag, as you may have experienced with vanilla. Coupled with that is another framerate option: "smoothing." "Variable" and "fixed" options are still in (the former offers a balance between high framerate and minimal lag, while the latter makes sure minimal lag is top priority); "smoothing" then, treats high frames as top priority.
The system requirements have been revealed, but they're identical to vanilla, so nothing to see here.
The first PC specific screens below; Super Street Fighter IV: Arcade Edition launches in July.