E3 06: Virtua Fighter 5 to beat on PS3 exclusively

Sega announces its arcade fighter is coming to Sony's next-gen console--and <i>only</i> Sony's next-gen console.

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LOS ANGELES--Last August, Sega announced it was preparing a sequel to Virtua Fighter 4, appropriately titled Virtua Fighter 5. The game was being developed for Sega's new Lindbergh arcade board, which is based on a 3GHz Intel Pentium 4 CPU. The fact the board was based on PC architecture led some to speculate the game would be coming to the Xbox 360, as the porting process would be less complex than that to other consoles.

Today, Sega announced that Virtua Fighter 5 is indeed coming to a next-generation console...but not the Xbox 360. The game will be exclusive to the PlayStation 3 when it is released in North America in Spring 2007. Like the 360, though, the game will feature high-definition graphics and will support 720p resolution.

Virtua Fighter 5 will sport more than 15 characters, including many from previous installments. Also, it will include two new characters, Eileen and El Blaze. Of Chinese descent, Eileen "uses a monkey kung-fu fighting style that she learned from her grandfather, a former kung-fu master," according to Sega. As one might gather from the name, El Blaze is a master of lucha libre, the flamboyant style of Mexican wrestling.

Besides introducing two new characters, Sega also released some gameplay details about Virtua Fighter 5. The publisher carefully avoided any mention of an online mode but did say players could win in-game money for their victories, which they could then use at an in-game shop. Sega also said that players could pick form several customizable costumes and "attachable items" that "can be placed onto each fighter's various body parts."

GameSpot will have more details on Virtua Fighter 5 as they become available.

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