SEGA-AM2 Video Interview: Virtua Fighter 5
We sit down for a rare chat with AM2 president and Sega arcade boss, Hiroshi Kataoka, and his staff working on the monumentally awesome VF5 for arcades and PS3.
It should come as no surprise to Sega followers that Virtua Fighter 5 is a title of such staggeringly high quality. Not because of the series' exceptional heritage, not even because of the flawless reputation of AM2's VF development team. But because making it great is simply good, justifiable investment.
The look, feel and polish of arcade VF5 is second-to-none, with perhaps the most striking HD visuals we've seen on any platform. And the game's latest, marathon location test at venues all over Tokyo is testament to the same kind of energy being invested into VF's renowned gameplay. As far as Sega Sammy bosses are concerned it's all worth it, because in Japan, where being a top VF player requires thousands of credits' investment, VF is the most profitable thing going.
Today's dominance of VF in the Japanese arcade business is largely the brainchild of AM boss and AM2 president, Hiroshi Kataoka. VF5's overhauled VF TV system is a revolutionary community addition to the series that makes full use of the groundbreaking nationwide, networked arcade infrastructure which Kataoka-san was responsible for having Japanese arcades install for VF4 - not on Sega's dime, but their own.
The elusive Sega exec is an AM2 fighting game connoisseur, whose leading role on all VF4 iterations is widely celebrated. Kataoka has always been immensely difficult to track down, with just a single interview granted to non-Japanese media in the last seven years... at least, until just recently, when Kikizo met him for a rare chat about VF5.
Also present were Sega R&D veterans Hiroshi Masui - planner for VF5 arcade, and Noriyuki Shimoda - the producer for the PlayStation 3 version of VF5. The recent announcement that VF5 will be coming to PlayStation 3 is music to the ears of all western VF fans, particularly since Kataoka-san mentions in this interview that there are no plans to release the arcade machine outside of Japan.
Kataoka-san is joined by arcade VF5 planner Hiroshi Masui
and PlayStation 3 VF5 producer, Noriyuki Shimoda
While we'd have loved a little more time to get down and dirty with AM2 on this occasion, naturally we wouldn't want to hold up an arduous development process, so what you get is this ten-minute 60fps video feature of justice, which includes some awesome gameplay footage and is a must-see for any fighting game fan.
If you missed our essential previous coverage, check our detailed, expert hands-on previews here and here, three overflowing video updates including this latest one, and some additional hi-res screens here.
Enjoy the feature!
NB: What is AM2's worst-kept secret? Find out near the end of the video, as Kataoka-san says words to the effect of "dammit, he knew, that's like our worst-kept secret, yo!"
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SEGA AM2 Video Interview
VF5 video interview feature with Hiroshi Kataoka, Noriyuki Shimoda & Hiroshi Masui -- high quality version
SEGA AM2 Video Interview
Lower quality version (still 60fps)
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