In fact, the translation hints that the company would be willing to develop the elusive final installment in the acclaimed franchise exclusively so long as a party such as Sony funded the project. Sony, we say get on the phone.

Not just because Shenmue is a revered franchise, but because it fits the Playstation-ethos. A creative, story-driven game, aimed at a specific niche. Like Sony's other adventure-driven project, Heavy Rain, Shenmue is a gaming environment where the often-mundane becomes essential to the atmosphere. Shenmue feels Playstation.

Given SEGA's appeal to the platform-holders regarding funding - we say two words: Yakuza engine. Given the similarities of the franchises, development costs for Shenmue III could be greatly reduced with the license of the Yakuza backend - an engine which has already been optimised for Playstation 3 development.

At this point there are thousands of gamers around the world who would pick-up new hardware to play Shenmue III. The first two games were commercial failures, and it's unlikely a third installment would rectify that. But in terms of further strengthening a catalogue of games, Sony's Playstation 3 exclusives lineup would be greatly bolstered by Shenmue III sitting in between the likes of Yakuza and Heavy Rain.

We guess that's Sony's call though.