TOKYO--The current generation of consoles has seen a number of longtime exclusive third-party games migrate to multiplatform releases. The Devil May Cry franchise was a Sony exclusive brand until the fourth installment debuted on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Square Enix's Final Fantasy XIII has also shed its exclusivity and will be appearing (in the West at least) simultaneously on Microsoft's and Sony's platforms.
Now, one more once-stalwart Sony exclusive has gone multiplatform, as Namco Bandai today opened up the 2008 Tokyo Game Show by revealing its arcade fighter Tekken 6 would be launching worldwide for the Xbox 360 in fall 2009, simultaneously with the previously announced PS3 edition. The Xbox 360 version of the game will mark the Tekken series' first installment on a non-Sony system since the 2002 Game Boy Advance experiment Tekken Advance.
Tekken project director Katsuhiro Harada--in an exclusive interview with GameSpot--said taking the Tekken series to more platforms would allow even more fans to enjoy the franchise.
"Timing was an important factor in this decision. As you have the 360 and the PS3--both relatively high-powered platforms--out at the same time frames. Both of them have high 3D specifications. And since Tekken is most famous for its graphics and visual design as a 3D fighter, we felt the high specs of these machines lend themselves very well to having the game on both consoles," he said.
Harada admits there will be challenges in taking Tekken 6 to the 360, given that the original arcade version was built on a PS3-based architecture. "When we tried to move it to the 360, it would be a lie to say I wasn't concerned. It is quite difficult. For example, on the PS3 you have the Blu-ray Disc as well as the hard disk, which lends itself to a lot of options for the game. We don't necessarily have this for the 360, where it has a DVD and it may not have a hard disk by default. So there are various things that we have to overcome when porting this to the 360, but I'm sure we can do it," he said.
Tekken 6 will include a number of new characters which Namco Bandai said will result in the largest roster the series has seen to date. The game also expands on the way character customizability has been used in previous Tekken titles, with special items affecting gameplay and allowing new moves to be performed. The console versions of the arcade brawler will also feature online play.
This is just the latest example of Namco Bandai opening up its premiere franchises to multiplatform development. Xbox 360 launch title Ridge Racer 6 marked that series' first non-Sony console appearance since 2000's Ridge Racer 64, while Ace Combat had only flown the Sony skies on consoles before Ace Combat 6: Fires of Liberation launched on the 360 last year. The Namco Bandai multiplatform flow goes the other way as well; last year's Xbox 360 role-playing game Eternal Sonata debuts on the PS3 later this month.
For more on Tekken 6, check out GameSpot's previous coverage.