Console Virtua Fighter 5 Final Showdown shows that Sega still cares

I don’t have my finger on the pulse of what’s going on at Sega Japan like I once did, which made this morning’s news that a new version of Virtua Fighter is coming to Xbox Live and PSN a very welcome surprise.

Final Showdown is the ultimate version of the VF5 series, currently available only in Japanese arcades. After the upgraded VF5R (which we spoke to developer AM2 in detail about back here) missed consoles, it comes as fantastic news that Sega’s bothering to put out this definitive final version.

For me and many, this is right up there with the likes of Half-Life Episode 3 and That Sega Sequel We Don’t Mention in terms of “announcements I want to wake up to for one reason or another”. There’s been so much added to the game since we last saw it, which non-Japan gamers have been brutally denied access to - a significant amount of new content compared to the boxed VF5 release, and more than a full sequel’s worth, in old beat-’em-up money.

The catch is that it’s not set for release until Summer 2012. That’s like a year away. The announcement/release timing seems just a little bit bizarre to be honest. But I’m glad they’re doing it.

Elsewhere in Sega land today it seems an announcement’s imminent for the 1993 classic Sonic CD also coming to XBLA and PSN, but as many have already pointed out, the inclusion of the iconic Japanese/European soundtrack over the generic, game-destroying US replacement is a dealbreaker, and we boldy refuse to acknowledge the port until we have confirmation on this point [Update: official 8/25 press release announcing Sonic CD confirms the Japanese soundtrack is IN!].

Here’s today’s Final Showdown console announcement trailer:

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