Over the weekend, footage leaked online showing what appeared to be a shiny remake of Atlus’ Persona 3 and the next entry in Jet Set Radio, apparently making Sega the latest company to pursue the remake/reboot gold. Late last year, the publisher emphasised plans to “focus on remaking and remastering existing IPs,” although they haven’t confirmed the existence of either project yet.
The brief video was initially posted by Twitter user AVtoGAMEnoYAMI – whose account has since been deleted – and according to them, the footage was from an internal Sega Japan meeting held in 2021. It shows a noticeably more HD Yukari from Persona 3 firing arrows, followed by in-development footage from Sonic Frontiers, and then an (even briefer) look at Beat from Jet Set Radio dancing in a familiar cel-shaded city.
Fans are understandably guarded about the prospect since Persona 5 first released 7 years ago, and a whopping 20 years have skated by since the last Jet Set Radio release. Gematsu seemingly validates Persona 3 remake’s existence, as they wrote “While we cannot verify the footage itself, Gematsu understands that a Persona 3 remake has been in development at Atlus for several years.” Last year, Bloomberg had also reported that big-budget reboots of Jet Set Radio and Crazy Taxi were in development.
The internet works fast, especially when there’s beloved IP involved, leading to the discovery of a potential domain name for the remake: p3re.jp, courtesy of Twitter user MbKKssTBhz5. The domain had been registered to the same provider as the official Persona 5 Royal website on March 15th, 2023.
Fans have pointed out that this footage could be related to a number of different projects. For example, the new model for Yukari could be included as a gacha character for Persona 5: The Phantom X, the free-to-play mobile spin-off currently planned to release exclusively in China. SegaSammy are also a prolific pachinko machine company, so this footage could be attributed to any number of projects. Or the video might just be fanmade.
Despite reasons for scepticism, this thread lists the work required to pull off a prank like this: it’s a lot. Essentially, a fan would have to create all new assets, character models that don’t exist, and bespoke animations. Interestingly, though, it’s the early Sonic Frontiers gameplay that has me convinced. The video has structures that weren’t in the final game, boss fights in entirely different areas, the floating rails have been removed from parts of the map, and visual effects have been revamped. Regardless, we’ll need to wait for Sega to confirm or deny the leaks.
Jet Set Radio’s return is past due as, two decades later, its effortless style and anti-establishment attitude are still influencing developers. On the other hand, Persona 3 Portable recently made its way to PC, and Ed found it to be a simpler, but still interesting, take on the series’ demon-slaying and high-schooling antics.