Capcom's Street Fighter maestro Yoshinori Ono has outlined his vision of fighting games on the next generation of consoles.
Future fighting games, he told Eurogamer, will let gamers customise their characters to a greater degree than we've seen in the past - indeed Street Fighter x Tekken's controversial gem system is a sign of things to come.
"For future titles I want to keep having this concept of, my character is different than your character," he said.
"In fighting games, the only difference between me and you is how good I am. But what I want to do with fighting games from now on is add in that element of customisation, where I can have a Ryu that's different than your Ryu, so we can compete on a different level than just our execution."
SFxT's gem system is designed to allow players to customise characters - but these characters are pre-made and, beyond colour and costume changes, remain fixed.
Ono suggested future fighting games may allow fans to create their own gems, "But really the ultimate goal would be to have the players themselves create their own characters to some degree," he revealed. "We call it user created content, or user created design."
"So in that case it would be like, the Ryu that Yoshinori Ono made is the best, or the Ryu that other guy made sucks. If we could have that interaction between the fans: I've created this great character so why don't you come try it, or that guy's character he made isn't so good. Why isn't it that good? If we can get that back and forth between the community and create more dialogue and interaction within the game, that would be the best case scenario."
The next generation of consoles, Ono admitted, puts "a lot of pressure" on Capcom to create something new in the fighting game genre. But next-gen fighting games will, ultimately, be directed by fan feedback.
"Really it comes down to the ideas and information we have now and the requests of the fans," Ono said. "Maybe it wouldn't even have to wait until the next generation of consoles. It could be something we could do now.
"But we need to get as much information as we can from the fans: what kind of things do they want to see in fighting games? What are they responding to? What don't they like? That's why I like to go around different countries and see what the community is saying about the games.
"The other thing we need is time. Obviously it takes a long time to make a game. If it's something we could do with this current generation we could do it. But if it takes longer… yeah, we could think of something really great to do on next generation of consoles."
The next-gen, the next Xbox and, presumably, PlayStation 4, promise to deliver vastly improved graphics than the current gen. While Ono is perfectly happy with the power of PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, he did hint at the visual improvements the shift to next-gen will enable for future Street Fighter games.
"Just for the basics of fighting games, and what we've done until now, the current generation of hardware is more than enough to do what we want to do," he said. "You can see with Resident Evil 6, we've got amazing graphics in that game. We've got stylized art in Street Fighter x Tekken.
"But I'm a person that puts a lot of focus and attention to the details of the visuals. Fighting games are great to be spectated. The players enjoy it, but people watching can also enjoy them. With the next generation of hardware we can make things better for the spectator in that sense."
He added: "So maybe the guy's clothes could get ripped off during the fight. Chun-Li would be like, 'Oh no!' There are a lot of things we could do with the graphics to make it look better. But in terms of the basics, we already have a lot of the power we need."