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June 19, 2007 - Following its surprise appearance at the AOU arcade expo in Japan earlier this year, [Register or Login to view links] has at last made its playable debut (sure enough, the debut came when the weather starting getting hot, as promised by the game's producer in an interview with Arcadia magazine). Bandai Namco gathered membered of the Japanese press for its latest "Private Show" product exhibition, and Tekken 6 was the highlight.

Tekken 6 will ship in two packages. The lower priced version includes two arcade units with 32 inch monitors. Arcade operators with the space and the cash can opt for DX Set, which puts four units together along with a 42 inch "live monitor." This monitor presumably replicates some of the functionality of Sega's VF-TV for Virtua Fighter 5.

In addition to the packaging options, Bandai Namco also shared a few additional details on the gameplay and visuals. Tekken 6 will run in 720p resolution -- a bit down from the PS3 version of Tekken 5, although this is apparently due to an increase in character and background detail as well as next generation effects like HDR and self-shadowing. We'll let you see the visual quality for yourself by browsing [Register or Login to view links].

The game makes use of a standard one lever and four button control setup. Impress reports that, in practice, the controls feel similar to Dark Resurrection, with the same controls for jumping, ducking, dashing and side stepping. Even the guard system replicates Tekken 5's.

Players can look forward to some new tricks. The game debuts an all new "Item Skill" system, where characters can equip and use special items in battle. In the original trailer, this system was shown as a character used a gun as a projectile weapon. Other examples include Bruce's chicken attack, where he sends out a bunch of little chicks to do his dirty work. If that weren't strange enough, check out Anna, who kicks her high-heel at her enemy as an attack!

Also new to the series is the Rage System. As you incur damage, your character's hands become covered in flame effects. When in this "rage" mode, your attack power increases.

Bandai Namco is also adding to the character roster. In its current form, the game has slots for up to 40 characters. Of these, four were marked with question marks. Previously, the game's producer has said that Bandai Namco plans on including even more new characters than the two that were announced at the February unveiling.

The large cast will be accompanied by a large set of stages. Expect at least twelve. As previously suggested by the producer, the stages have more interactivity and real time elements, including breakable walls and floors and progressive time.

We're going to have to wait a bit for Tekken 6 to hit arcades. One Japanese operator reports that the game will not arrive until November or December. That means those looking forward to a home version will be waiting until probably some time next year.

Thanks to [Register or Login to view links] for sharing the news with us!