The coming game cartridge renaissance?
The fact that Street Fighter II is seeing another re-release later this year isn't all that surprising. Since its arcade and 16-bit heyday, the classic fighting game has appeared in some form or another on the PlayStation, PS2, PS3, PSP, Saturn, Xbox, Xbox 360, iOS, and feature phones, after all.
What was surprising is that this latest rerelease of the ur-fighting game would come on an actual, playable Super NES cartridge. Creative production company iam8bit will start shipping a limited run of 5,500 Street Fighter II 30th Anniversay Edition cartridges—in "Opaque Ryu Headband Red" or "Translucent, Glow-in-the-Dark Blanka Green"—starting in November. Pre-orders have already sold out for the $100 package, which includes a retro-styled box, "Premium Instruction Booklet," and "Retro Pack-In Surprises."
Re-releasing old games on new hardware has long been common, of course, and there's also been a growing niche industry of specialists releasing playable cartridge versions of homebrew titles, rare prototypes, and ROM hacks on a variety of classic consoles. But this is the first time we can recall a cartridge-based game getting an officially licensed re-release in its original format, on its original platform, decades after its original launch.