Sega has revealed the first shots of Virtua Fighter 5 running on the Xbox 360, and the good news is that the game is virtually indistinguishable from the PlayStation 3 conversion.
We manfully attempted to match action from the existing PS3 game with the new 360 screens, and aside from a slight change in typography there's barely any difference between the two versions, aside from the Xbox 360 game perhaps looking a little softer. Improved anti-aliasing or just poor JPEG compression on Sega's press shots? At the moment it's impossible to tell. Everything else revealed in the 360 visuals points to a flawless conversion of what is one of the PlayStation 3's best-looking games.
Developer AM2 is remaining silent on any other possible enhancements to the new rendition of the game. At the time the 360 version was first announced, there was speculation that the game would be based on the enhanced "Version C" rendition of VF5 coming soon to Japanese arcades, but in reality there has been no official comment.
Similarly, Sega has so far failed to confirm other online reports that the Xbox 360 version features optional analogue control support, revamped computer AI and an improved training mode. Such features have been demanded by console VF5 players disappointed with the poor single-player game modes and simple CPU intelligence seen in the PS3 game. These enhancements do seem likely as they would bring the new game into line with the magnificent Virtua Fighter 4 Evolution on PlayStation 2 - still the best-playing VF game for the solo gamer.
Further muddying the waters is a recent low-key announcement of another arcade rendition of the game: Virtua Fighter 5 Version DX, featuring further gameplay tweaks and a new duo of additional fighters. According to Japanese arcade price lists, it's due to be released around the same time as VF5 on Xbox 360. Could any of this content find its way into the new console game? Highly unlikely, but it could provide Sega with plenty of future downloadable content opportunities.
We'll have more news and media as we close in on the "late summer 2007" release date.