Judgment, the 2019 detective action-thriller set in the world of the popular Yakuza franchise, is coming to PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S and Google Stadia on April 23rd, 2021, Sega has announced via an official trailer.
This news is especially fortuitous for Xbox console owners, who have been experiencing a consistent drip-feed of titles from the Yakuza series on their chosen platform for almost a year now, all of which were once only available on PlayStation platforms. With the anticipated release of Yakuza 6: The Song of Life into Xbox Game Pass in March and the previously PS4-exclusive Judgement effectively holding the bridal train as it arrives the following month, the entirety of the mainline Yakuza saga will finally be available on all “current and next-gen” consoles and PC.
Well…almost, that is. In what has to be one of the most perplexing deals that Sega has worked out with the release of a Yakuza-related title yet, Sega “does not have plans to bring Judgment to PC at this time” the publisher disclosed with news outlets IGN and Eurogamer. This is despite the fact that the likely all-but-doomed Google Stadia will feature the game, which is essentially running on Stadia-optimized PCs via Google servers. Given the current state of Google’s troubled-streaming platform, Judgment’s Stadia-exclusive arrangement on PC is unlikely a permanent one, but how long it will last is unknown.
What is known is that the game will feature improved visuals, 60-frames per second framerate, faster load times and all the previously-released DLC from the PS4 version. There will not be cross-buy upgrade path from PS4 to PS5, so in other words, owners of the PS4 version who want to experience all the next-gen enhancements on PS5 will have to purchase the next gen version, but on the bright side, the game will be offered at a lower, mid-tier price of $39.99 USD (CAD pricing is still TBA). Cross-save from PS4 to PS5 is also unlikely, but has not been officially ruled out yet. Obviously, it’s expected that the PS4 version’s Japanese and English voiceovers will be kept intact, as well as one significant but unfortunate change that was made from the original Japanese version of the game.
Here’s hoping that the Yakuza spin-off train doesn’t begin and end with Judgment, as we still have the alt-universe zombie survival horror curio Yakuza: Dead Souls still imprisoned on PlayStation 3 as well as the feudal-Japan-inspired Ryu Ga Gotoku: Kenzan! and Ryu Ga Gotoku: Isshin! both still waiting for an English-translated release on Western Shores.