Credit: IGN.com UK, December 21, 2006 - In a move bound to get certain fists pumping in the hardcore gaming fraternity, SEGA today announced that its much hyped PlayStation 3 exclusive Virtua Fighter 5 officially will come to Xbox 360 in late summer 2007. The last game in the Virtua Fighter series was a PS2 exclusive, which sold exceptionally well on Sony's system. Virtua Figher 5 had been hyped for some time as a killer PS3 exclusive for fighting fans, but -- following in the footsteps of Assassin's Creed and GTA IV -- will also go multi-platform. The PS3 version still retains some level of exclusivity, with a US release on February 20 and with the console's launch in Europe. The Xbox 360 version will ship in late summer 2007, according to SEGA. Virtua Fighter 5 offers worldwide fighting stages in which as many as 17 contestants vie, including two new characters, El Blaze, a wrestler somewhat like Wolf, and Eileen, who employs a Chinese Monkey Kung-Fu fighting style. SEGA also has implemented a new "offensive move" enabling players to take down opponents from different angles; these moves are believed to set VF5 apart from past VF games. Like in Virtua Fighter 4: Evolution, players can customize their characters. They can pick from four base costumes in the beginning, and then choose from a wide spectrum of unlockable accessories items as they progress. By winning more tournaments, players not only earn costumes and accessories, they receieve prizes and in-game money for browsing in the in-game shop. "SEGA delivers the most technical fighting game experience on Xbox 360 with this installment of the award-winning Virtua Fighter series," said Scott A. Steinberg, vice president marketing, SEGA of America. "Virtua Fighter 5 takes full advantage of Xbox 360's hardware with action-packed gameplay, customizable characters, stunning graphics and highly detailed 3D fighting environments." "The Virtua Fighter series from SEGA has one of the most prestigious histories in video games," said Jeff Bell, corporate VP of marketing at Xbox. "It's a franchise that has grown an army of loyal fans both in arcades and on consoles worldwide, and is consistently rated extremely high by the media. Fighting game fans have been hungry for Virtua Fighter 5 and we can now proudly deliver this game with Sega to Xbox 360 gamers around the world." We'll have more on Virtua Fighter 5 in the near future.