Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate free-to-play version announced, coming west

Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate freetoplay version coming to Japan
Tecmo Koei is trying its hand with a free-to-play alternative version of Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate, subtitled Core Fighters, in addition to the full retail game. Core Fighters is a PS3 download "planned" for September 3 in North America. As Famitsu reports (via Siliconera), Tecmo Koei is in talks with Microsoft about an Xbox 360 version.

Core Fighters includes four playable characters: Ryu Hayabusa, Hayate, Kasumi, and Ayane. Opponents span the same roster as the full version, and all stages are included. Tutorial and training modes make the F2P version as well, but the story mode does not. In terms of in-game purchases, additional characters cost $4, while the story mode is $15.

As for online play, it's enabled for free, and players using the F2P and retail versions of Ultimate can fight each other. However, neither version of Ultimate is compatible for online tussles against players using the original Dead or Alive 5, or Dead or Alive 5 Plus on Vita.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.