In January, Shibuya Productions founder and president Cedric Biscay said that Shenmue 3 would be out this year, and promised "many other surprises" as well. Tonight, we got a couple of them: The first two Shenmue games, originally released in 1999 and 2001 for the Sega Dreamcast, are coming to PC.
"This is the definitive version of these all-time classics and will be the best Shenmue experience to date," Sega said. "The re-release will stay true to the originals with modernized features including 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."
Shenmue follows the adventures of Ryo Hazuki, a young martial artist on a quest to avenge his father's murder. Players must search for clues, talk to NPCs, and deliver some jujitsu beatdowns in a real-time open world with day/night cycles, changing weather, and a population that goes about its own business on its own time.
Such was the game's commitment to taking a more realistic approach, (insofar as vengeance driven tales of martial artistry are ever realistic), Ryo even worked a spell on the docks as a forklift truck driver, with pretty much all the mundanity you'd expect that to entail. The sequel made its way to the original Xbox in 2002, but this will mark the first appearance of either game on PC.
Shenmue 3 is of course coming to the PC as well, in case there was any doubt: Shibuya dropped some new screens and recommitted to a 2018 release earlier this year.
One big question is how the old graphics will be upgraded for the PC release: What the games will scale to, how (or if) the textures have been upgraded, and what PC-specific options will be supported. We're hoping to hear answers soon, and hopeful it won't end up like Chrono Trigger, which launched with an ugly pixel smoothing filter in place that left many fans unhappy and was ultimately patched out.
Shenmue 1 and 2 will be available for preorder soon on Steam; physical editions are coming as well, but are currently only planned for consoles. Details are available at shenmue.sega.com.