A Launcher (also refered to as a Manual Launcher or a Raw Launch) for the HP HK version is a universal gameplay mechanic in Street Fighter X Tekken.
Executed by pushing hard punch and hard kick at the same time, or ending a Cross Rush by pushing a hard attack after the final hard attack of a sequence (or pushing hard punch and hard kick after a normal connects), the character will perform a launcher. This is a mechanic available to all characters in the game (with some deviations). Despite looking similar, there are two versions of the launcher that have varying amount of damage and properties. Both versions are very unsafe on block . Either version switches control of the point character to the anchor (one in waiting) on hit.
The command launcher has a zoom in Screen Freeze when it connects. Prior to the 2013 edition the Cross Rush version also had the zoom in but it was removed alongside significantly reduced screen freeze on hit to speed up gameplay and prevent time overs. Somewhat interestingly, Jin Kazama has a rather unique launcher where he hits twice, making a safe switch cancel tag for the incoming character.
Both incarnations of the launcher take a long time for the attacking character to recover from. This should be noted if the player is trying to switch their partner back in as switch cancels can not be activated if the ally is still on the screen, furthermore tactics such as Pandora cannot be activated unless the ally is off the screen, some attacks with similar launch properties such as Ibuki's Kazekiri could help in these instances.
The manual launcher (or raw launch) is executed by pushing hard punch and hard kick at the same time without any normal attacks connecting previously. For most characters this version does 100 damage by itself, making it a good option for some low damage characters, who have higher damage partners. This version can actually hit an opponent on a Juggle (provided there are enough juggle points left) for a safe and free tag, albeit one that needs to connect and is highly punishable if whiffed.
The manual launcher has some properties associated with it that the Cross Rush version doesn't. Manual Launchers are immune to low attacks, meaning attacks such as crouching jabs will be ignored by the sequence and continue until the active hitbox. This means that low attacks are, in general, riskier than in other games, as a correct prediction can easily lead to 400+ damage in the post launcher juggle. Some more non obvious attacks can be beat with this version of the launcher, such as all versions of Jack X's Rocket Uppercut. The Launcher ignores the projectile hitbox of the attack and proceeds as normal. Against some characters manual launchers can be very good Option Select.
Cross Rush Launcher Edit
Cross Rush launchers are launchers that come out of normal or Cross Rush enabled normal attacks. These can not be used to end most Target Combos. Tekken Chains, or Unique Attacks. This version of the launcher does 50 damage when compared to the manual one and doesn't have any of the side benefits the manual version does. It is very unsafe on block like the manual version. Pre 2013 patch version also had the zoom in and screen freeze of the manual version but it was sped up significantly with no zoom in when the final update of the game arrived. This version doesn't connect on juggles and leaves the player highly punishable if it whiffs.