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Feb 22

Yakuza 4 Demo Goes Live on PSN Today

Aaron Webber's Avatar Posted by on Feb 22, 2011 // Associate Brand Manager, Sega of America

Hey there, loyal fans and readers of the Playstation Blog! That one guy from SEGA is back again, here to talk all things Yakuza 4, answer your questions in the comments, and remind you of one very important thing: The free Yakuza 4 demo is going live on PSN today!

If you’ve never played the Yakuza series before, I highly recommend you download the demo and give it a whirl. Today’s demo is built around brawling, and in it you’ll get to play as all four unique characters in the game. Oh, and if you’re glowing blue and you see the triangle button appear, make sure to press it – those are called HEAT actions, and they’re both brutal and pretty amazing.

Also, hidden tip – we’ve equipped each character with a special weapon to use! Tap down on the d-pad to equip a weapon, and you’ll find yourself armed with everything from nunchucks to spears to katanas. Kazuma Kiryu, the final character in the demo, also comes equipped with all three for you to try out.

If you own a PS3, you owe it to yourself to see why this series is exclusive to the console. And there’s even more good news: following the great positive support from fans who picked up Yakuza 3 last year, we’ve made a massive effort to include as much content in the game as possible this time – which means that you’ve got hours upon hours of bonus side-content and mini-games added in. Like Hostess Clubs? Worry not – we’ve got ’em. Pachinko? Check. Baseball, bowling, a date at the hot springs, massage parlors, table tennis in kimonos – it’s all here.

Yakuza 4 is much more than just brawling, though we hope you’ll really enjoy just how deep the combat is within the demo. You can experience everything the game has to offer firsthand soon, on March 15th! (Our friends over at Gamestop also have a shiny Hostess premium theme if you support the game by pre-ordering!)

As always, thanks to you guys for supporting series like Yakuza and Valkyria Chronicles. Drop a line in the comments if you’d like to fire away any questions.


//Add Your Own

99 Comments   60 Replies

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+ station3fever on February 22nd, 2011 at 3:00 pm said:

@ Hooligantuan (1st post) You are a knucklehead!!!!!
Leave the games to the gamers.


+ thundercat17 on February 22nd, 2011 at 3:07 pm said:


get a life, and go back to your dungeons and dragons because no.1 its a video game and no.2 its a good game

and finally yakuza 4, im downloading this now

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 10:39 pm said:

    Hope you enjoy it!

    As to the first post, I’d say just ignore it. I think if they play Yakuza and see what the game is really like, they’ll understand it’s far different than what they’re picturing. :)


+ WhiteDynamite666 on February 22nd, 2011 at 3:08 pm said:

Does anyone know when the update will actually happen? like down to the hour?


+ kirazero00 on February 22nd, 2011 at 3:13 pm said:

@ Hooligantuan,

Ummm…if you’ve ever played any of the Yakuza games you’d know that organized crime is in no way glorified…if anything these games show how corrupt and greedy mobsters in these gangster organizations can be. You should probably start playing games before you make ridiculous comments about them….just sayin’….

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 11:19 pm said:

    Thank you for also pointing this out!


+ WhiteDynamite666 on February 22nd, 2011 at 3:15 pm said:

Does anyone know when Dead Money DlC will be on psn?


+ XFRod on February 22nd, 2011 at 3:21 pm said:

On behalf of the hardcore Yakuza fans, thanks for leaving mahjong and shogi in this time around. As a riichi (Japanese mahjong) player, it’s going to be nice to see the first US release with riichi in it. Now, if you had made it so you could play it multi-player, online, and outside of the main game, that would have been perfect.

Portland MahJong Society

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 10:41 pm said:

    Comments like this are always nice to read, because it shows there really is some appreciation for the optional content. We hope you’ll enjoy mahjong, as well as all the other side-games. :)


+ Metal_Mgs on February 22nd, 2011 at 3:21 pm said:

guys some of these demos and games are up on psn now.

you have you use the search function.

currently downloading xenogears.


+ xBlackBloodx on February 22nd, 2011 at 3:32 pm said:

I’ve played the demo, i can’y say i’m a fan. :/ I’ve never played anything other ones though and maybe i’m being to quick to judge but it just doesn’t seem that good. :/

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 10:42 pm said:

    If you like the combat, you should check out some videos on Youtube to get a deeper look at the game. Think brawler + RPG + cinematic crime drama + shenmue = Yakuza 4.


+ clupula668 on February 22nd, 2011 at 3:58 pm said:

Don’t need a demo for this one. Yakuza 3 was one of my favorite games of last year. This is an automatic day one! I hope if this sells enough, we can get Yakuza: Of the End too.

I also wouldn’t object to an HD collection of Yakuza 1 & 2 (although if you do bring 1, please go with the original Japanese voice. I’m not usually someone against dubs. In fact, I play most RPG’s in English. But this game takes place in Japan, so it only makes sense for everyone to be speaking Japanese).

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 10:44 pm said:

    Thanks very much for supporting the series! It’s ironic, as a lot of people actually feel that Y1 had some of the better dubs out of almost any game like it. Personally, I’m still stoked to hear the AAA VA’s they got for the Japanese tracks, though.


+ thundercat17 on February 22nd, 2011 at 4:18 pm said:

…and i finished the demo, its a good demo, if ur a fan of yakuza 1, you will love it, if not, try playing the first one instead of jumping quickly to the 4th one


+ TallCrowe on February 22nd, 2011 at 4:20 pm said:

Sega Corporate Person I am excited about this game.

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 10:44 pm said:

    Sony fan person I am excited about your excitement.


+ Ibn_Elmeedan on February 22nd, 2011 at 4:24 pm said:

Now, when Yakuza 3 came out, I thought it would be a Japanese version of GTA, without the drugs. I love Japan. And I would love GTA if it weren’t for the drugs and the um.. adultery. Then, a while back, there was a Qore episode that had Yakuza 3 as the cover” story. It showed a animated pole dance. I can get that game off my list. Then, I see the trailer for the demo for Yakuza 4. I think, “wow, it must be awesome! The fighting looks intense!” Then I see how a pre-order bonus is a Dynamic Theme full of animated revealing girls. Another sexualized game. Don’t get me wrong, I played god of war and other games with questionable content. But if a game is advertised because of things like this, it doesnt look too good. I’ll download the demo, but please tell me, is the Yakuza series as sexualized as i think? Because, honestly, it looks like a great game.

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 10:48 pm said:

    The cool part is that you get to choose how involved in that sort of thing you’d like to be. They’re both totally optional.

    Hostesses, which are what you get in the Dynamic pre-order bonus, are actually not that revealing. They’re high-class, and you’ll notice they actually generally wear full flowing dresses (with a couple exceptions), jewelry, etc. In the game, you’ll spend time having conversations with them, which can eventually lead to dates, which can become a bit more sexy, depending. But you actually have to get to know the hostesses, to talk to them and to spend a whole lot of money on them, before you have any chance at seeing them outside the club.

    If you’re into something a bit less classy and time consuming, you can take a spin over for pole dancing nearby and spend some time watching there. Just as with the hostesses, it’s completely optional and isn’t required to complete the main game.

    I think it’s a good balance overall, and one that lets you pick how much of it you’d like to experience.


+ Hooligantuan on February 22nd, 2011 at 4:35 pm said:

I can’t say I’m going to pick up a Yakuza game, but much respect for actually responding, Mr. Webber. Shows a lot of moxie. :D

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 10:50 pm said:

    It’s all good – thanks likewise for responding politely. :) I’m really passionate about the Yakuza series, so I’m happy to answer questions or help clarify wherever I can.


+ alok893 on February 22nd, 2011 at 4:58 pm said:

Hey sega usa have u made any plans to release yakuza kenzan! for the us?
Because the next yakuza of the end is also a spin off!
y don’t u release both for the us.
Even with the PSP yakuza spin off!

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 10:53 pm said:

    Ah, I wish it were as easy as just pushing a big red ‘Localize!’ button!

    Sadly, there’s a lot more work to it (and time, and money, and risk) than that, so given the sheer size of a single Yakuza game, there’s a ton of work to be done. Our team translated so many words for Yakuza 4 that the script would read like a full-length novel if it you put in the pages of a book. It’s absolutely massive.

    But, the better Yakuza as a series does here in the west, the more likely SEGA as a publisher is to continue supporting it. It’s not my place to speak to the possibility of any of the games you mention, but as basic business sense will tell you, if a series does well commercially, a company will almost always continue supporting it.


+ dokoganryu on February 22nd, 2011 at 5:06 pm said:

My favorite game series of all-time. Even though I imported the Japanese version last April, I’ll still buy the US version as well, after learning you guys thankfully have not cut the hostess segments out of this one. I hope the history minigames are added onto future games though– it completes the game’s authentic Japanese feel IMO.

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 10:55 pm said:

    Glad you enjoy the series! Thanks also for buying a western copy in addition to your Japanese version.

    Are you fluent in Japanese? Depending on how much you know, hopefully the western version will be able to offer even more immersion into the city and the storyline.


+ TheHakku on February 22nd, 2011 at 5:23 pm said:

Demo wasn’t convincing enough for me to buy the game. I need more press material. Still glad others enjoyed the demo, though. Guess I’m one of those that just never got the Yakuza series.


+ boxmyth on February 22nd, 2011 at 5:45 pm said:

The Yakuza series is in my top 5 game series of all time. It’s a fantastic ride with the best 3D fighting engine of any game out there.
This is a day 1 purchase, easy.

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 10:58 pm said:

    Glad to hear it, and likewise, thank you for supporting Yakuza 4!


+ megamixer on February 22nd, 2011 at 6:00 pm said:

Oh sweet. Being jetlagged is a good excuse. You’re one of the good ones when it comes to replying to comments so I was wondering what was up.

“It’s a lot of work, but our guys in production and our team in Japan did a great job making sure the fan requests were heard this time around.”

Did they hear how the trophies in Yakuza 3 related to mini-games are way to time consuming & difficult? I haven’t checked out Yakuza 4’s trophy list so as to remain spoiler-free, hopefully it won’t be a repeat of 3’s…

“No Comment”

Could you comment on why the Sega PSN publisher page excludes your PSP titles? Sega hates handheld games confirmed. J/K! Most of those are PSP titles and while the system is on its way out, I hope it will be sent out with a bang! So I’ll keep on hoping for some or all of those to get a release. I helped do my part by buying PSP2 twice and voting for it as part of the PSN gamers choice awards :D

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 11:01 pm said:

    Ah, not even jetlagged even – just a nice five hour trip from San Francisco to New York! I’ve been jumping in to comment here and there between dinner and drinks, though I really should get some sleep soon. (Doing some Yakuza demos in… seven hours now?)

    As to trophies, I haven’t heard anything about the difficulty levels, though I’d bet they’re mirroring or exactly the same as the Japanese version, save for anything involving Ans X Ans.

    As to the publisher page – that’s interesting. I wasn’t aware of that, but I’ll see if there’s a way we can get games like VC2 and PSP2 up there – both of which are fantastic games. Thanks for picking up two copies of PSP2, btw!


+ KPRINTZ on February 22nd, 2011 at 7:02 pm said:

I have played the demo and i loved it! the 4 different fighting styles are really cool, I’m a huge fan of the series, (Yakuza 3 especially) the storyline was probably the best i’ve ever played in a game before. I know 4 will be amazing as well!

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 11:02 pm said:

    If you liked the story in Yakuza 3, you’re in for a huge treat in 4. No spoilers from me, but let’s just say the final few hours are probably some of the best in the entire series thus far.


+ TorgoTime on February 22nd, 2011 at 7:18 pm said:

Valkyria Chronicles 3 or it didn’t happen

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 11:12 pm said:

    Spread the word on VC1 and 2! Like Yakuza, it’s a series of amazing quality that really deserves more attention than it gets.


+ siegeh on February 22nd, 2011 at 8:33 pm said:

The first one was ok, didn’t like the second one, will this one be any beter?

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 11:03 pm said:

    Which parts did you like / dislike? I can offer some thoughts based on what made the first game fun for you, or likewise what you didn’t enjoy as much in #2.


+ Dragun619 on February 22nd, 2011 at 10:02 pm said:

Thanks Aaron, Definitely appreciated the response. Now I have to get Yakuza 4. Here’s hoping that will help Sega bring Yakuza of The End stateside.

Sort of disappointing about the Dreamcast Collection though but if you say their good reasons, then ok. I’ll trust you Aaron on this one. ;)

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 11:14 pm said:

    Not a problem – it’s always nice to get to respond to comments. :)


+ Boss_Tycoon_ on February 22nd, 2011 at 10:47 pm said:

Thanks for the response, Aaron.

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 11:15 pm said:



+ Kchow23 on February 22nd, 2011 at 11:12 pm said:

I liked Yakuza 3 but never got around to finish it… from the Yakuza 4 demo nothing seems to have changed significantly.. has it?


+ Kchow23 on February 22nd, 2011 at 11:14 pm said:

Also I know this is a common design choice among the Yakuza series but why do you deviate from full on cutscenes with voices and then in between you have a little text parser then back to cutscene?

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 11:18 pm said:

    Going to answer both comments in one here:

    Part 1 – Yakuza 4 has a lot of new features and additions. Graphically, it looks like much better. Storyline wise, you also now play as four different characters, each with their own fighting style, whose stories will intertwine by the end.

    There are also more mini-games and bonus content, like the Hostess Clubs, which were cut from Yakuza 3. Other very Japanese but still very cool mini-games, like Pachinko, are also present. In short, beyond the main story, there’s a ton of new content.

    Part 2 – That’s a design choice, though I imagine it just comes down to how many cut-scenes they can render out for the game. On its own, the game already has a massive amount of cut-scenes beyond the dialogue parsers!

    Hope this answered your questions. :)


+ Kchow23 on February 22nd, 2011 at 11:15 pm said:

Lastly, an awesome game to look forward to in March.. thought that it was a dry month except for Dragon Age 2 (not my type of game).

    Aaron Webber's Avatar


    + Aaron Webber on February 22nd, 2011 at 11:18 pm said:

    Ah, a third one!

    Heh, well, good to hear that you’re looking forward to it. I’ve beaten it almost twice already, and I’m still doing the same.


+ Kchow23 on February 22nd, 2011 at 11:19 pm said:

Thanks for the replies and looking forward to Yakuza 4 :)


+ SDotMini on February 23rd, 2011 at 12:09 am said:

Awww man. I already pre-oredered Yakuza 4. Downloading the demo right now!


+ Enigma777 on February 23rd, 2011 at 12:12 am said:

If this is the same as the PS+ demo, then I won’t be bothering. I found it really lame and dull. I’ve never been a fan of the fighting system of the Yakuza games, and only highlighting that particular part of the game is not the best idea if you ask me.

Hopefully there’s a demo for Yakuza Of the End (is that the proper name?). Than one looks like it at least mixes up the formula, though I’m still skeptical when it comes to Japanese devs and shooting mechanics. It’s oil and water.


+ Mikkuk on February 23rd, 2011 at 12:56 am said:

Although I found the US demo disappointing, I will be preordering the game today. That is because I already own the japanese version of the game, and that I can’t wait to play a version subtitled in english. :)

Now Sega, Please, release Ryu Ga Gotoku Kenzan in the US. You know you can do it. Please make it so.


+ valleyshrew on February 23rd, 2011 at 1:52 am said:

You need to advertise the yakuza series more as a microcosm of japanese culture, with more emphasis on adventure, characters, locations, entertainment and social objectives than violence. The demo is just going to put people off from what the games real strengths are (i.e. not the combat). There’s a huge audience for games like this, GTAIV is the only western game this generation that surpasses it in being a culturally significant adventure.


+ Edd on February 23rd, 2011 at 2:36 am said:

After playing the demo I plan on picking up Yakuza 3 (and 4 after it’s released). I had always been aware of the game but it just hadn’t piqued my interest, after playing that demo though, and learning a bit more about what it’s about it sounds both compelling and over the top.


+ eatthemall on February 23rd, 2011 at 3:00 am said:

I don’t need a demo.
what is amazon pre-order bonus


+ eatthemall on February 23rd, 2011 at 3:03 am said:

will END come to NA


+ eatthemall on February 23rd, 2011 at 3:29 am said:

can you send my thanks to RubyEclipse for the free Yakuza3 DLC.


+ eatthemall on February 23rd, 2011 at 3:31 am said:

thank you RubyEclipse


+ eatthemall on February 23rd, 2011 at 3:52 am said:

Hi Mr. Aaron Webber


+ jqtaxpayer on February 23rd, 2011 at 4:45 am said:

Firstly, I think it’s great that Mr. Webber here is taking the time to comment on so many posts — if only everyone on PS Blog were this attentive.

Secondly, to the people who don’t like the demo, it doesn’t really do a great job of representing what makes Yakuza such a great series — the crazy story, the oddball humor, the sidequests, etc.. The game has great combat and all, but if it were just the combat the game would be a failure. For those who downloaded the demo and aren’t really seeing what all the fuss is about, you might want to consider a rental. Without question, Yakuza 3 was my favorite game released last year, which was no small feat considering what else got released last year.


+ speedtrap_21 on February 23rd, 2011 at 5:00 am said:

wow downloading this demo once I get home =)

Played Yakuza 1, 2 and 3 and loved them all. 4 is a first day buy for me


+ DarkRecoil on February 23rd, 2011 at 5:10 am said:

Just wanna say thanks to Aarron for taking the time out to answer mine and so many other questions.

If only other blog posters here had the same willingness to interact with the community. thanks again man :)


+ clupula668 on February 23rd, 2011 at 5:44 am said:

Just played the demo and was very disappointed that it was only fighting. To those who haven’t played the series before, you seriously need to realize that it is so much more than the demo showed. It’s almost an RPG, with just fighting battles instead of turn-based battles. You talk to people, you go on missions for NPC’s, you build relationships and friendships. And, yes, you do fight too. There’s a lot of fighting, but it’s not the whole focus of the game. I don’t know if the Yakuza 3 demo is still available, but that did a better job of getting you into the series. This isn’t Dynasty Warriors just set in modern Japan. It’s one of the deepest, most fun experiences you can have.

I really hope people don’t judge the game based on the demo alone.


+ fleinn on February 23rd, 2011 at 6:42 am said:

:) Downloading the demo now. Obviously disappointed that it doesn’t contain the very neat and “demo-able” story-segment from the one year old Japanese demo. Another uninspired choice by SEGA USA, imo, that doesn’t help build a good image for the series.

By the way, anyone concerned about the plot and how the game deals with the mafia — the main author for the two first games, Hase Seishu, is also the author of a series of Yakuza novels that are very popular in Japan. Some of them have been made into relatively successful Yakuza movies that even I have heard of. All of them are brutal and unapologetic when it comes to the presentation of the Mafia’s methods – but place them authentically in Japanese society as only a writer with authentic experience can. Of course, they are fictional stories and fantastic things happen, but the themes and intrigue are authentic and engaging.


+ fleinn on February 23rd, 2011 at 6:43 am said:

But the thing about local Japanese film is that the budgets are tiny, and the production quality is.. by and large.. awful, even though the stories are very interesting. So it’s necessary to understand that the Yakuza games come from that direction. As well as that in many ways – with the face-animation and direction that were developed eventually for the series – these games actually have higher production value than those films. And this means they have a much higher chance of promoting those stories to a foreign audience than the films and, obviously, the books do.

So I think you’ll find that these games are deceptively deep – also thanks to SEGA USA for further confusing everything, obviously, by trying to sell it as GTA in Japan – and that the story and thematic treatment set these games a bit apart from anything else you might want to compare with.


+ fleinn on February 23rd, 2011 at 6:47 am said:

It’s basically the opposite angle on games that, for example, Rockstar has (or any other western developer outside of Quantic Dream and Troika, more or less). Rockstar created a game – and then added cinematic elements to it afterwards. Ryu ga gotoku is a video-game adaptation of a movie, where no one had the brilliant idea of firing the writers since “it’s just a game”.. and therefore wouldn’t need so much exposition or narrative outside the entire “beat punks over the forehead with a lit gas-grill” angle.

..ok. So there you go. (Awesome character limit :/)

Oh, and thanks so much for listening to us about including the mini-games and the potential cultural crash moments :) Looking forward to see how the game will look in the end.


+ thundercat17 on February 23rd, 2011 at 8:47 am said:

hey aaron, are we getting some kind of special edition for yakuza 4?


+ tomstockmail on February 23rd, 2011 at 12:01 pm said:

Great game series, glad to see it still coming over to the US. Anyone that wants a look into Japanese games beyond Square Enix should check it out.


+ iTofuMan on February 23rd, 2011 at 12:54 pm said:

first off thank for replying to my post! its very nice to see people actually read our post and reply to it whether it is good or bad.

But i just wanted to say i did enjoy the Yakuza 4 demo, the combat controls were smooth and i liked the overall feel to the game. my only complaint was the to unknown gamers (somewhat like myself) just seems like this game might only be about combat. it would have been nice to get maybe a little info on the story of Yakuza 4 (doesnt have to be something like spoilers) but introduce the main character(s) and give us a taste of the game.

Again i think the combat was great. it just would have been better to get a little info about the overall game like characters, story, etc.

I will probably be getting this game. i just need more info about it.


+ ChinglishRSR on February 24th, 2011 at 12:37 pm said:

Yay i enjoyed the demo. A bit dissapointed that we didn’t get a great demo like what japan got. But anyways i have a question i first got into the series with yakuza 3 and i must say that it’s my favourite ps3 game and goty for last year it was different from all other games and was never boring.So i decided to hunt down the other games .I only got yakuza 1 because a seller on ebay didnt ship my yakuza 2. Will i need to play 2 to fully enjoy yakuza 4? because ill get 2 around that time and i wont be able to wait till i finish 2 to play 4 . please answer. Thank you and forgive my english


+ ThanatosDMC on February 26th, 2011 at 3:39 pm said:

The demo was disappointing compared to Yakuza 3’s demo in which we actually got to explore and play with some mini games. Glad i know what Yakuza is about since im a big fan of Yakuza 3. But i doubt the Yakuza 4 demo enticed anybody outside the people who know the Yakuza universe.

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