It's Looking Like Another Huge Year For The Tekken Franchise.

The focus of the conversation was on Tekken Hybrid — a PlayStation 3 exclusive package due this holiday with an HD version of Tekken Tag Tournament and CG movie Tekken: Blood Vengeance. But what's Namco done to upgrade Tekken Tag Tournament for PS3?

"We wanted to keep the feeling of the game itself from the PS2, so we haven’t changed a lot there," said Harada. "The graphics aren’t just upscaled or anything, we actually re-created a lot of the in-game textures. A lot of work went into refining the graphics.

"Another reason we’re doing it now is because a lot of people in Europe played the PAL version, which was a slower version of the game. Now they’ll be able to get the full experience here. There are also younger players out there who never played it, and I think it will appeal to them."

Tekken Hybrid will also include a demonstration of Tekken Tag Tournament 2, which Harada says will most likely boast full stereoscopic 3D in the final version.

"Yes, we will support it. We haven’t really announced a lot about it yet, because we’re still working on it. We weren’t quite sure if it would end up in the final version. But we’re about 85% sure that 3D will make it into the final version.

"Since Tekken is a three-dimensional fighter, I think a lot of people will like seeing what 3D adds to our gameplay model."

As for Tekken X Street Fighter, Harada revealed that some elements of the gameplay are giving his tema some headaches. Particularly, Street Fighter's fireballs.

"Obviously, the Street Fighter characters will have to have their fireballs. Ryu without a fireball just wouldn’t be right. Obviously we’ll need it. When you look at executing a fireball in a 2D setting, it works almost like a jab. It keeps your opponent where you want them," he explained.

"When we bring fireballs into Tekken X Street Fighter, there are two different ways we could go. It could be used as something similar to keep your opponent in the place you want, or it could be some kind of a special move or powered-up version of their techniques. We’ve not decided on what route we want to take with this yet.

"Another element to think about implementing fireballs in Tekken is, how do you avoid them?" Harada questioned. "When you play a 2D game like Street Fighter, you obviously can’t go back and forth in the screen — you usually jump over it. But in three-dimensional fighting games like Tekken you can sidestep. So do we want players to jump over fireballs? Or is it okay to sidestep them? That’s something we’re not decided on, we haven’t had enough time to look into it. We have a lot of staff, myself included, who grew up liking Street Fighter. I’m really confident that we can come to a good balance between the two worlds."

Finally, is Harada interested in bringing Tekken to the PlayStation Vita: "You probably know the answer to that, right?"

We think so.