Yakuza: Like A Dragon will come to PlayStation 5 four months after Xbox Series X|S

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.

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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

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2 Comments

  1. “This contrasts with Xbox’s Smart Delivery, which will be available across both digital and retail copies of the game”

    This is just getting silly now. Sega say you can upgrade your digital copy from the PS Store and don’t explicitly say you can do the same with a physical copy, and half the internet takes that to mean “You can’t upgrade your physical PS5 version”. And then Sega have to point out later in a tweet effectively saying “FFS! Of course you can. Do you think we’re idiots??”

    And all because Sony didn’t come up with a stupid name like “Smart Delivery”, when the PS5 does exactly that.

    Of course, Sega then go and say that your progress won’t carry across from the PS4 to the PS5 version. Which is then somehow Sony’s fault, even though that’s exactly Sony have always worked. Some saves work across generations, some don’t. It’s up to the developer.

    • Here’s what the press release said:

      “SEGA is happy to announce that Yakuza: Like a Dragon will be launching on PlayStation®5 in the West on March 2, 2021, following the game’s PlayStation®4 launch on November 10, 2020. Once players purchase the digital PS4 version of Yakuza: Like a Dragon at PlayStation Store they are able to download the PS5 version at no extra cost when it launches on March 2, 2021. The PS5 version of Yakuza: Like a Dragon will also be available standalone on March 2, 2021 for $59.99, with commensurate pricing in EMEA.”

      Since they explicitly state that upgrades are digital, I didn’t see any hint that this would apply to physical as well. Beside that, there’s enough weirdness with other cross-gen releases that you can’t really take anything for granted.

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