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Capcom is set to mark two firsts for Xbox Live Arcade. Not only are they going to release an online beta for Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix, but they’re also making the access key available exclusively through their new XBLA game, Commando 3. That means you won’t be able to rent or borrow a copy of a game to get the key like we all did with Crackdown for the Halo 3 beta.

Apparently Capcom learned its lesson when they released their lagtastic emulation of Street Fighter II Hyper Fighting, as the purpose for the beta is to stress test the network code in preparation of the full release on XBLA and PSN later this year. According to Gamespot the beta will last about eight weeks, though only the hardcore are likely to play that long because right now it looks like you’ll only be able to fight on one stage as either Ken or Ryu. That makes the access key more like an extra bonus for purchasing the 800 point Commando 3 rather than a reason for purchase. The good new is Commando 3 looks like it’s shaping up well.

Why should you be interested in yet another version of Street Fighter II? Aside from the fact that it’s the greatest fighting game of all time, this particular version boasts a number of upgrades. Udon Comics, publishers of the Street Fighter comic book, has updated all the characters with crisp high-resolution artwork, so no more pesky forced 4:3 resolution (though that mode, along with the original character sprites are available). Other features include remixed tunes, in-game voice chat, and worldwide leader boards. Street Fighter II Turbo HD Remix is set to right the wrongs of Capcom’s previous Street Fighter XBLA effort.

Commando 3 still has a vague Q3 2008 release date, which means the SF beta should be expected then too, whenever that is.

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