Tekken 5 drop-kicking PS2s in Q1 2005

The next installment in Namco's favorite fighting franchise won't smack up consoles until next year; Japanese site launches.

As GameSpot revealed at E3 in May, arcade favorite Tekken 5 is now facing off with a new foe--the PlayStation 2. Today, Namco announced the rough release date of the latest addition of its megapopular fighting series coming to Sony's console in the US and Japan. The game is scheduled for a spring 2005 release in Japan and a Q1 2005 release in the US. No pricing or ratings information was released.

However, no problems are expected in porting the game from arcades to the PS2. Since Tekken 5 runs on System 258 arcade hardware, which is basically an upgraded version of the PS2's System 246, it's expected that the process will go smoothly for Namco.

“Tekken 5 will propel gamers of all ages to the next level in the fighting genre,” said Namco Hometek's business unit director Yoshi Niki. “With Tekken 5’s completely new fighting engine, customizable characters and interactive environments, no fighting game fan will want to be without it.”

As Niki said, Tekken 5 sports an all-new engine, in addition to three new characters, Raven, Feng Wei, and Kazama Asuka. These will join 20 characters from previous Tekken games, including Kazuya, King, Marshall Law, Ling Xiaoyu, Julia Chang, Steve Fox, Lei Wulong, Paul Phoenix, Hwoarang, and the ever-popular Nina Williams. All the returning characters have been given new moves and combos, and they will win prize money for victories, which they can then use to customize their character with an expansive wardrobe.

Namco also revealed today that besides the requisite exchanges of body blows, Tekken 5 will have an overarching storyline. Here is its description verbatim:

"After the completion of The King of Iron Fist Tournament 4, a fierce battle between father and son unfolded at Mishima Zaibatsu headquarters. Jin emerges as the victor in this battle and continues to defeat Heihachi, his grandfather--but spares both Kazuya and Heihachi’s lives in honor of his mother who loved peace. Soon after Jin’s departure, a swarm of Jacks arrive at Honmaru and begin to attack Heihachi and Kazuya--and in order to escape, Kazuya thrusts Heihachi into the swarm of Jacks. A great explosion destroys Honmaru, and a man watching from afar reports, “Heihachi Mishima is dead.” While many presume the death of Heihachi Mishima will end the reign of Mishima Zaibatsu, an announcement is made for the fifth King of Iron Fist Tournament, with an unknown replacement to Heihachi leading the organization."

Simultaneous with the announcement, Namco launched a Tekken 5 Web site. Stateside surfers will need to refresh their knowledge of kanji, though, because the site is almost entirely in Japanese. It contains details on Tekken 5's concept, story and characters, and features several screenshots of the game in action.

For more on Tekken 5 for the PS2, check out our brand-new hands-on with the game.

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