UPDATE (25th Sepetember 2019): The Shenmue 3 demo is set to arrive "beginning this weekend" for backers of the trial tier of the game's Kickstarter, Ys Net has announced.
As announced previously, the demo offers a small taste of Shenmue 3 centered around "one day in Bailu Village near the beginning of the game". You can expect "story line elements, battling, minigames and more" - a little of everything, by the sounds of things.
There were some logistical details thrown in there too - keys received must be redeemed through the Epic Games Store, and you'll need 20GB of storage in order to play.
ORIGINAL STORY (13th August 2019): We're a mere handful of months away from finally - finally! - being able to play Shenmue 3, and if you're one of the backers of a certain tier of Yu Suzuki's hugely anticipated return you're just over a month from being able to play a slice of the belated follow-up.
Kickstarter backers have received details of a forthcoming demo which is currently scheduled to drop 'the second half of September'. It'll offer a standalone act around Shenmue 3's starting area, Bailu Village, and will offer around an hour's worth of play - with the option to go back and replay it as many times as you want 'until the trial expires'. There'll be no cross-save with the full version of Shenmue 3, which is coming in November.
It sounds sort of similar to What's Shenmue?, a demo that launched before the original game that had you tracking down Sega's then managing director Hidekazu Yukawa, the final scene depicting him surrounded by boxes and boxes of unsold Dreamcast consoles. Late 90s Sega really was the greatest.
As for Shenmue 3, there's still some controversy surrounding its exclusivity to the Epic Games Store on PC, and the subsequent issue of refunds - none of which has any further clarity after this latest update, although it's acknowledged as an ongoing issue.
Oh, and then there's the point regarding whether Shenmue 3 can live up to the expectations around it after so long in the wilderness. Not long to go now until we see how it shapes up.