If you hadn't gotten around to placing a pre-order on Dead or Alive 5 Ultimate then perhaps you won't have to. Tecmo Koei have announced that their game is getting a free to play version later this year. Come September 3rd, you'll be able to download Dead Or Alive 5 Ultimate: Core Fighters on your PS3.
As the subtitle implies, you're getting only the "core" characters. These include Ayane, Hayate, Kasumi, and Ryu Hayabusa. Although you can only play as these four, all the opponent still exist, as well as all their stages. Interestingly, some music will be unavailable. In regards to the game itself, you can play it in either single player or online modes. Free players are able to play against those who purchased Ultimate as well.
DLC works itself into Core Fighters in standard ways. Each character is set to cost $4 and there will not be any multi-character packs available. If you want to play story mode then you'll have to dish out $15. As it stands, the content available for free may be just enough for some players to not need to pick up any DLC.