Sega have confirmed that Yakuza: Like A Dragon will arrive on PlayStation 5 on 2nd March 2020, coming some four months after the 10th November release on all other platforms, including PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One and PC. That’s slightly earlier than the previously announced date.
Update: Sega have now clarified that upgrades will be available for the game physically as well as digitally.
To clarify, physical owners of Yakuza: Like a Dragon on PS4 can also use the original disc to upgrade to the PS5 version when it releases on March 2, 2021.
Save data will not be transferable between the PS4 and PS5 versions of the game.
— RGG Studio (@RGGStudio) September 28, 2020
Of course, the game will still be playable on PlayStation 5 up until that point with the PlayStation 4 version played via backward compatibility, but the enhanced release that will better take advantage of the SSD and sheer power of the console will have to wait until March. Come March, anyone that has bought the game digitally on PS4 will be able download the PS5 version with a free upgrade to the next generation. This contrasts with Xbox’s Smart Delivery, which will be available across both digital and retail copies of the game.
It’s all just a bit bizarre, and has us wondering what’s going on behind the scenes. Clearly it’s some kind of business arrangement, extending from the Xbox One ports of recent Yakuza games, but a timed exclusive that’s this short and that only nets an advantage for the next-gen console is just very odd. That’s nothing to say of the major shift in game genre.
Set in 2019 following the events of Yakuza 6, Yakuza: Like a Dragon follows the story of Kasuga Ichiban, a member of the formidable Tojo Clan who, much like Kiryu Kazuma, takes the fall for a crime he did not commit in order to protect the honor of his clan. When Ichiban emerges from prison almost two decades later in 2019, though, he’s found that the world has changed immensely and moved on without him. Stuck as an outsider in an unfamiliar town, he gathers a crew of unlikely allies in order to find out the truth behind what happened while he was behind bars.
The game is a pretty major departure beyond just having a new lead, with new turn-based RPG encounters. Part of the reason for this switch to an RPG battle system is that Ichiban is obsessed with Dragon Quest, and the regular thugs you run into on the street will often transform into otherwordly warriors (in Ichiban’s head, at least) once battle begins.
Source: press release