The Yakuza series has really been going places since the beginning of 2017, with the release of Yakuza 0 over in the West sparking a huge wave of popularity and interest in the games overseas. Since then, the first Yakuza game got a stunning remake in Yakuza Kiwami and released later last year, Yakuza 6 just came out recently and marked the end of Kazuma Kiryu's story, and Yakuza 2 also has a Kiwami remake that's coming West-wards this year. Basically, it's a really good time to be a Yakuza fan, and it all only gets sweeter with this recent news from Sega via the recent issue of Famitsu: Sega is bringing Yakuza 3, 4, and 5 to the PlayStation 4 as remasters.

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It's important to note the wording here though; these will be remasters, rather than remakes. Famitsu confirmed in their report that all three games will be mostly unchanged from their original counterparts, making these more standard HD remasters that bump up the framerate and resolution to a smoother 60 frames per second and 1080p. This makes sense though, considering Yakuza 3-5 were all PS3 titles and still hold up well to this day. Yakuza 1 and 2, on the other hand, were PlayStation 2 games, meaning their recent remakes really did a number on what those two were, putting them toe-to-toe with Yakuza 0 and 6 levels of quality.

The best part about this news though is what it means for the series as a whole. Right now, these three remasters are only confirmed for Japan, but given Yakuza's newfound explosive popularity in the West, it seems certain that Sega will be bringing these over just as they have with all of Yakuza's recent entries. Once that happens, that means that anyone who wants to get into Yakuza has the means to play all 7 games on the PlayStation 4: Yakuza Kiwami, Yakuza Kiwami 2, Yakuza 3-6, and Yakuza 0.

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It's kind of stunning seeing this turn-around when you compare it to the state of Yakuza in the West several years ago. Back before the smash-hit success that was 0, times were uncertain for Yakuza fans. We had 1 and 2 only available on the PlayStation 2, 3 had been hit with unpopular censorship and changes, and 5 was only available digitally on the PlayStation 3. We weren't even sure if Yakuza Kiwami would be coming over, and it seemed like Sega wasn't sure either. It's such a stark contrast to now, and it's good to see a warming up to the series on this side of the globe.

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Yakuza 3's remaster is set for an August 9th release in Japan, right around the time Yakuza Kiwami 2 hits the states on August 28th this year. Yakuza 4 will follow in the Fall, and Yakuza 5 will cap it all off in Spring 2019 (again, these dates are for Japan as of right now). If these dates follow the trends of Yakuza's past releases, we may see these games sometime in 2019, but hopefully, Sega confirms one way or the other.

Tanner
Tanner

Tanner is a freelance writer. He enjoys all things video games, particularly the weirder ones, and can often be found drinking coffee and trying to get through his backlog.

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