Sega has announced that Shenmue I & II are making their way to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, and will launch worldwide in 2018.
Announced via the Sega Fes event in Japan and published on GameSpot, the highly anticipated Shenmue I & II re-releases will include several graphical and control updates such as; “fully scalable screen resolution, choice of modern or classic control schemes, PC graphics options, an updated user interface, and the option to enjoy either the original Japanese or English voiceovers.”
Unlike Sega’s re-master of the Yakuza series, titled Yakuza Kiwai, it seems that Shenmue I & II will be retaining their original graphics, albeit with some visual tweaks for modern consoles. As of writing, the re-releases don’t seem to be including any gameplay mechanics or updates that may be found in Shenmue III, but further information is bound to come out closer to the game’s release.
Whether fans of the series would prefer a port over a full re-master is yet to be seen. The remaster of the Yakuza series has been praised for updating those titles to the modern era and providing players with the opportunity to experience a beloved franchise. These updates encourage players to try out an old franchise, so it will be interesting to see whether those who haven’t played the original games will gravitate towards the re-release.
Rumours surrounding a Shenmue re-release have been floating around since 2012, but Sega has been silent on the topic. With the extremely successful Kickstarter campaign for Shenmue III, it looks as though Sega realises how popular the series is, so it makes business sense to finally re-release these titles on modern systems. Hopefully, these games will tide fans over until the eventual release of the third game.
An official release date hasn’t been announced, but Shenmue I & II will be coming to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC at some point in late 2018.