Shenmue fans may ultimately get a high-definition re-release of the first two games in Yu Suzuki's ambitious series, according to recent comments from Sega Europe. But there are some hurdles in bringing the Dreamcast and Xbox games to current-generation platforms, Sega said.
Responding to a fan question regarding an HD remaster of 1999's Shenmue and 2001's Shenmue 2, the company said it's "currently investigating" such a port.
"Of course we would love to release these tomorrow," said Sega community manager Dan Sheridan in a video posted to YouTube. "Sadly, it's not as simple as porting the games to the current platforms, as we would need to ensure that any HD remaster lived up to the quality of the original titles. And with games as immersive as Shenmue 1 and 2 there are further complications from licensed products that were included in the original games. That said, we'd love to do it and are currently investigating how to make it a reality."
Shenmue featured a number of licensed products and promotional tie-ins, including Timex watches and Case Logic bags. In Japan, the first game featured Coca-Cola vending machines, though this was changed for the North American and European releases. The original Shenmue also featured a number of licensed technologies and a wide range of partners, including Toho, Toshiba EMI and ASCII Corporation.