The director of third party production for Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) has touched base on a potential high-definition re-release of the cult Dreamcast classic, Shenmue.
Gio Corsi said at the PlayStation Experience (via Gameidealist) that fans should not give up hope of seeing the action-RPG get a HD makeover, as it took Sony a year to secure a western release for Yakuza 5.
Furthermore, Corsi told a fan he’s a massive Shenmue aficionado, and even has a figurine of protagonist Ryo (driving his infamous forklift truck, no less) sitting in his office. Shenmue HD is also his ‘number one’ personal request.
Unfortunately, he also shed light on a few reasons that have been holding back a HD revamp of the fan-favorite title. For starters, the re-release of NiGHTS into Dreams… and Jet Set Radio didn’t generate much in the way of sales upon their release a few years back.
Secondly, there are a number of licensing issues regarding the game engine that have held back the project. It seems Shenmue HD did actually reach the prototype stage running on Xbox 360, but due to the above issues, it never materialized as a full-blown project.
Shenmue was released on the Dreamcast in Japan in 1999, and arrive in the U.S. and Europe the following year. Shenmue II hit stores in 2001, although a third game has never seen the light of day despite numerous requests from fans.
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