Many fighting game fans consider the lifespan of Virtua Fighter 5 to be as legendary as the Virtua Fighter franchise itself. Facing direct competition with Bandai Namco’s Tekken and Soul Calibur series, as well as Capcom’s Street Fighter, Sega’s Virtua Fighter is the only franchise not to have a new title in nearly 15 years. However, the latest entry is still receiving support, with a new update announced today.
Despite Virtua Fighter 5 spanning two generations of consoles, Sega’s 3D technical fighter’s player base is among the most devoted, with tournaments being routinely played and streamed around the world. It was enough for Sega to take notice, and late last year, they released a little teaser citing the return of Virtua Fighter in esports. Almost half a year later, the esports project proves to be the “ultimate” experience for Virtua Fighter 5 players.
Earlier this morning, a trailer released by Sega showcased a snippet of Virtua Fighter’s story ahead of the Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown game reveal. Cited in the trailer as “the pioneering 3D fighter returns for the final round, remade for a new generation,” Virtua Fighter 5 has received a major graphical overhaul compared to its previous Final Showdown expansion. This was done as a collaborative effort with Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio, who revamped the game using their Dragon Engine from the Yakuza series.
The announcement follows the alleged leak of next month’s free PS Plus titles for June 2021, which include a mention of Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown alongside Star Wars: Squadrons. Ultimate Showdown will be released on June 1 exclusively for PS4, further complementing the PS Plus buzz. If true, this will allow a wider range of players to try out the latest version of the niche 3D fighter.
Virtua Fighter is back. Re-made in RGG Studio’s Dragon Engine, the 3D fighting game that started it all never looked so good!
Virtua Fighter 5 Ultimate Showdown launches worldwide as a PlayStation®4 console exclusive next week on June 1, 2021! pic.twitter.com/a1I57j7Szr
– RGG Studio (@RGGStudio) May 25, 2021
While not necessarily a leak, players knew of the working title of the new Virtua Fighter 5 update as early as March due to a listing from GRAC, the Korean version of the ESRB. While the main gameplay will remain unchanged, Sega has announced that Ultimate Showdown will include new music, a user interface, an opening cinematic, and an updated online mode that includes a spectator mode and a functional tournament mode.
The changes to the online mode will coincide with the original promise that Virtua Fighter will return to esports, allowing tournament organizers to easily set up matches in an online environment. While nothing has been announced in terms of network code, gamers are hoping that the latest addition to the Virtua Fighter 5 legacy will include a stable online experience to rival its competitor, Tekken, which also announced a series of online tournaments. Recently.
Virtua Fighter: Ultimate Showdown will be released on June 1, 2021 on PS4.