December 21, 1998
SHEN MUE USA ANNOUCEMENT
Company Press Release
Sega Broadens Dreamcast Line-up With New Console Game From Arcade King Yu Suzuki
Groundbreaking Dreamcast game, 'Shenmue,' unveiled in Japan
REDWOOD CITY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 21, 1998--Sega of America's parent company, Sega Enterprises, Ltd., hosted a premier party on December 20 in Yokohama, Japan to reveal details about the highly anticipated new game "Shenmue" for Dreamcast, the ultimate gaming machine.
Formerly code-named "Project Berkeley", "Shenmue" was developed by Sega's leading arcade producer Yu Suzuki -- creator of the famed ``Virtua Fighter'' series -- and will ship in spring of 1999 in Japan.
"Shenmue'' is an adventure and RPG-style game that recreates the real world in the context of a ``living'' digital experience. Set in Japan and China, the game features characters that live within their own timeline, each operating on a different schedule with different roles in life. Landscapes change as time passes, responding to time of day and weather.
The game introduces a new cast of characters that are brought to life with thousands of animated moves motion captured from professional actors. The Dreamcast graphics processor is powerful enough to render character features as delicate as real-time finger movements.
These lifelike movements become crucial in the game's battle sequences. Many of the fighting moves are based on the Chinese martial art called Hakkyoku-ken. Sega recorded motion captured movement from professional Budo experts to create each character's fighting capabilities. Other movements such as walking and running were also motion captured to add more realism to the game.
Environments in the game are highly interactive. Most locations offer a number of items that characters can access to learn new clues and guide them through the game.
"Shenmue'' was conceived five years ago by Suzuki, but was shelved because he felt no hardware was capable of making his inspiration a reality. That changed when Sega developed Dreamcast. "Shenmue'' began to take shape and break new ground in the areas of realism, graphics and interactivity thanks to the system's advanced technical capabilities. ``Shenmue'' does not contain any CG movies and is a fully interactive game in which characters can go wherever they choose and interact with whomever or whatever they want.
The information disclosed today on "Shenmue'' pertains only to the Japanese market. No further details were released regarding the North American market.
Sega of America is the arm of Tokyo, Japan-based Sega Enterprises, Ltd. responsible for the development, marketing and distribution of Sega videogame systems and videogames in the Americas. Sega Enterprises, Ltd. Is a nearly $3.0 billion company recognized as the industry leader in interactive digital entertainment media, and is the only company that offers interactive entertainment experiences both inside and outside the home. Sega of America's World Wide Web site is located at http://www.sega.com.