SEGA of Europe has registered ShenmueHD.com, suggesting the industry giant is gearing up to launch high-definition versions of Shenmue and Shenmue 2 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
Shenmue HD on its way to PS4?
That’s at least according to the domain’s WhoIs record, although right now the website is currently blank. Shenmue HD has been rumored for some time now, with reports dating back as far as 2012 regarding a possible re-release for the cult Dreamcast titles. However, nothing has ever come to fruition regarding the projects, though with Shenmue 3 on the horizon, this may change.
SEGA has acknowledged the demand for Shenmue HD in recent years, although it has highlighted some of the issues in bringing the games to modern consoles, chiefly the various licensing issues that must be tackled. There’s also the small matter of bringing both games, which are now over 15 years old, to modern systems without compromising the integrity of the originals.
Shenmue 3 is currently in development at Ys Net with series creator Yu Suzuki at the helm, following a successful Kickstarter campaign that launched during Sony’s E3 2015 presentation in L.A. The game is pencilled in for release in December 2017, although we wouldn’t be surprised if it was delayed at this point as there’s still a fair bit of work to do.
The original Shenmue started out life on the Sega Saturn as a Virtua Fighter RPG, before Suzuki-san ultimately decided to create a brand new IP instead. Development shifted to the Dreamcast, and the game was released in Japan in 1999 followed by a localised version the following year.
Shenmue II was released in 2001 although due to the impending demise of SEGA’s last home console, the game was not released on Dreamcast in the U.S.; instead, gamers received an Xbox port in 2002, complete with extra content and full English dialogue. In Europe, the game saw a Dreamcast release and featured the original Japanese voiceovers with subtitles.