Virtua Fighter 3 gets online arcade update 27 years after release


Virtua Fighter 3tb characters arranged in a wallpaper style

Arcade classic Virtua Fighter 3 is receiving a new update 27 years after its original release. The new update will add an online mode for arcade systems running the classic fighting game.

Revealed by SEGA in a Japanese press release, the new update will make its way to Japanese arcades on November 28, 2023.

The specific game that will be getting this online upgrade is the Virtua Fighter 3tb variant which first hit Japanese arcades way back in 1997. This version brought about team battles, hence the ‘tb’, in a three on three format, alongside a bunch of balance tweaks and additional skills for players to master.

The new aptly named Virtua Fighter 3tb Online brings a fully-fledged online battle mode allowing players to fight against others who are playing on similar arcade systems throughout Japan. The update is based on tech used in Virtua Fighter 5: Ultimate Showdown which is obviously a newer title, but one that appears to have enough compatibility to get the job done.

Virtua Fighter 3tb arcade fight
click to enlarge
Credit: SEGA

For avid arcade goers and fans of this new feature for Virtua Fighter 3tb, they’ll also have full Aime card support which allows display of player names and even records of previous bouts. These can also be viewed and edited via VF3tb Online.NET.

It’s nice to see arcade games of this ilk getting some love since the hobby is certainly declining with both a limited number of systems being developed, and a whole host of brick and mortar businesses being shut down. While there is still interest from the public to visit these fun houses, rising costs sadly make it extremely difficult for long-term sustainability.

There’s no news of this tech being implemented outside of Japan but this is to be expected due to lack of interest or even the same systems being available throughout the rest of the world.

If you’re interested in learning more about Virtua Fighter 3tb Online, head over to the official website or watch the announcement trailer below.

For more articles like this, take a look at our News and Retro page.