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These days, PC games seem to be getting bigger and bigger, and sometimes it's arguably hard to tell if the games are worth the asking price in terms of hard drive real estate. Some gamers are okay with games extending north of 50GB, while others start getting leery when games step into the 100GB territory. For Ys Net, the company recently revealed the PC specs for the upcoming Shenmue 3, which is due for release on PS4 as well, and the specs show that the game is going to be incredibly massive. You better start cleaning up old photos and dusty games if you have plans on getting the martial arts adventure game.
The news was posted over on the Kickstarter page, where the update was accompanied by a video about a fan survey for those who are registered for the newsletter. However, the survey is about backer rewards, tiers, and a few other features regarding those who pledged money to the Shenmue 3 project. The real news is that the PC specs were detailed, and the basic specs require a 64-bit operating system, either Windows 7, Windows 8 or Windows 10. You'll need at least an i5-4460 at 3.40GHz or better, along with 4GB of RAM and at least a Nvidia GeForce GTX 650Ti or better with 2GB of VRAM. The real doozy comes in the form of the hard drive space, though. You'll need 100GB of available space for Shenmue 3. For the sake of comparison, Ryse: Son of Rome is only 24GB, while The Witcher 3 is 35GB, and both of those games are considered graphical powerhouses.
Some fans were completely shocked at the requirements for the hard drive, especially given that the GPU and CPU requirements aren't that steep at all. The significance of the discrepancy between the hard drive space and the GPU is that if you only need a GPU with 2GB of VRAM, then it means that none of the texture caching, shaders, etc., exceed 2GB worth of video memory storage. The game's base RAM requirement is also only 4GB, which used to be the standard for games made a decade ago.
So what's the significance of the difference between the memory access requirements and the hard drive space? Because it means that the base textures aren't 4K, which means that if the minimum requirements are for 100GB it's not for texture storage.
Even with Gears of War 4 supporting 4K output on PCs, it caps its hard drive space at 80GB as the requirement. Of course, the 4K standard also requires more processing power and memory bandwidth, which is why the recommended RAM requirement is at 16GB while the VRAM requirement for 4K output is at 4GB, twice the amount required to play Shenmue 3. Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 also takes up about 100GB, but that's after you install all the DLC, similar to games like Ghost Recon: Wildlands.
Most other games that clock in at 100GB are 4K enabled, though, such as the newer Forza Motorsport games. However, even in that case, you can get by with the minimum PC requirement of just 55GB of hard drive space without the 4K textures enabled. The only other 4K game where you might need 100GB -- and that's due to the fact that it's still firmly in development -- is Star Citizen. However, Star Citizen is calculating and processing an entire galaxy's worth of content. Backers also regularly have to update Star Citizen with each new alpha release, so there's a lot of redundancy in memory stockpiling.
Based on the specs (and trailers) it's quite obvious that Shenmue 3 isn't pushing the graphics barriers to new heights to warrant the demand 100GB worth of hard drive space due to graphical assets. However, some speculate that Ys Net might be packing uncompressed videos into the package, and all of the cinematics may be running as UHD media as opposed to in-engine cinematics. If that's the case it would most certainly explain why the game takes up 100GB given that Shenmue is known for lengthy cinematics, and if they're all captured in video format then it would skyrocket the hard drive requirements significantly.