It's one thing to ask for a sequel to a stand-alone game with an already-complete story, like Okami or Psychonauts--but Shenmue has steady continuity that suddenly drops after a huge reveal at the end of the second game. Ever since the release of Shenmue II in 2001, fans have been eagerly devouring any possible news of a sequel.
Sega's Associate Brand Manager Ben Harborne teased the possibility of Shenmue (along with Skies of Arcadia) getting an HD re-release in the vein of Jet Set Radio. 1UP's Chris Pereira brought an important fact to bear: if Shenmue and Shenmue II receive HD remakes, Sega might use sales of those to gauge interest in Shenmue III. Serious creator Yu Suzuki also mentioned at last year's Game Developers' Conference that he's interested in continuing the series.
While the chances of Shenmue III are still next to none, Sega using the HD releases to see just how badly people want to continue searching for the nefarious Lan Di is a great idea. Just the idea of getting to play Shenmue II while carrying over my save data from the first game is something to look forward to--rumors point to a Shenmue HD already being done, but I'm gonna hold off on any real hope until I hear word from Sega.
What do you think? If Shenmue and Shenmue II were released for PSN and Xbox Live Arcade, would you pick them up? Would you give Yokohama and Hong Kong another run-through in the name of avenging Ryo's father and recovering the Dragon Mirror?
Or is there more to this picture than just conjecture? Maybe we already have played Shenmue III and we just didn't realize it.