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DoA4 to launch with 360

In Japan, at the very least.

Team Ninja boss Tomonobu Itagaki has confirmed the developer's commitment to finishing Dead or Alive 4 in time for the Xbox 360's Japanese launch, but there's still no word on when we can expect to see the game in Europe.

Speaking to Famitsu magazine, Itagaki also said that DoA4 will feature more than 20 fighters and will centre around a character called Helena, an opera singer who runs the evil DOATEC organisation. There are eight new characters designed by Itagaki himself.

Naturally there will be plenty of old friends to say hello to, but don't expect to walk straight in and start pulling off the same old tricks - "The fighting styles of the characters won't change without changing around their main moves," Itagaki told Famitsu.

"It's a real risk. This isn't something that's a small adjustment to the game's balance.

"Up until now, we were chained to the series' existing framework. But time had passed, and by the period that we were working on Beach Volleyball, we felt that [the framework] didn't matter any more," he explained.

"We will be [trying to create] a game that plays more like a Dead or Alive game than a game that plays like a fighing game." Hmm.

Itagaki also said that DoA4 will use a new 'slow shutter' engine that deliberately blurs the look of the action on screen for extra realism when characters are fighting at high speed.

"This kind of effect isn't possible with current consoles," he said.

"By blurring the characters, we can express movements that can't be shown at a frame rate of 60 frames per second." There are also plans to include a camera mode so you can take snapshots with the blur effect in place.

DoA4 is due out in Europe... Eventually.