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Sega's flagship fighter heading to PS3

Sega has announced that its Virtua Fighter series is heading to next-generation consoles, the fifth iteration of the game signed exclusively for a spring release on Sony's PlayStation 3.

Sega has announced that Virtua Fighter is heading to next-generation consoles, with the fifth instalment in the hit series signed exclusively for a spring release on Sony's PlayStation 3.

Promising to take "true advantage" of next-generation hardware capabilities, Virtua Fighter 5 features 17 fighters familiar to fans of the series, and introduces two new characters for its next-gen debut - gameplay footage of which will be shown at the E3 expo this week.

Additional features include a comprehensive character customisation tool that allows players to attach a wide range of in-game items to different body parts, a new rewards system that offers in-game money and prizes for each match, and a new "offensive move" that enables gamers to attack an opponent from the side, adding a new strategic element to the fast-paced fighting techniques.

Scott A. Steinberg, VP Marketing, Sega of America, commented: "Virtua Fighter 5 will offer fans the ultimate next-generation fighting game experience. For years, the industry has talked about bringing the arcade experience to the living room. Virtua Fighter 5 fulfils this promise, and then some."

Fully supporting 720p HD resolution and promising a true arcade experience on home console platforms, the game is currently in development at Sega Studios, and is scheduled for an early spring 2007 release. Whilst Xbox 360 owners are currently enjoying online competitive matches with Tecmo's fighting series, Dead or Alive, there have been no details on any online or multiplayer connected element to Virtua Fighter 5 announced so far.