play shenmue on mac

How to play Shenmue on Mac

Shenmue is an action-adventure game created by SEGA. Originally both a console manufacturer and a video game developer, SEGA has stopped making its own consoles in early 00s. In 1999, however, when Shenmue originally released, SEGA was still a console manufacturer – and so this game was a Sega Dreamcast exclusive.
Those who could play it, though, were left highly impressed, as Shenmue was very innovative at the time. Not only did it have an open world, it was a sensible, detailed open world. It featured day-and-night cycles and weather events, and the world reacted to those – characters’ routines would change depending on the time of the day, shops would open and close, and so on. This would hardly impress a modern gamer, but back when Shenmue was released, this was unprecedented.
The game’s story revolves around Ryo Hazuki, a teenage boy whose father was murdered. He resolves to investigate the mystery. It is up to the player to help Ryo discover clues, practice martial arts, and participate in fights – all to uncover the truth.
In 2018, Shenmue, alongside Shenmue II, was ported to Windows, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. Apple’s platform was overlooked, but it is still possible to play Shenmue on Mac. This guide will explain how it is possible, and what steps you need to take to do it.

System Requirements

Minimal
OS: Windows 7 (64-bit)
Processor: Intel i3-560 / AMD FX-4300
RAM: 4 GB
Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 650 Ti (1GB Vram) / AMD Radeon 6990
DirectX: Version 11
Storage: 30 GB

Play Shenmue on Mac with Parallels

play shenmue on mac using parallels desktop
If you have a powerful Mac computer (iMac, iMac Pro, or Mac Pro) Parallels Desktop can be a solution. This is an application that allows for Windows virtualization on Mac with the full support of DirectX and GPUs. In simpler terms, what this means is that it allows you to install Windows 10 on Mac with just a couple of clicks and switch between MacOS and Windows instantly. So you will be able to run Windows, install Steam, and enjoy the Shenmue game on Mac just like on a regular PC.

Download Parallels Desktop

Note: Recommended devices to run resource-demanding games: MacBook Pro (models with an Intel processor, discrete graphics cards, and 16 GB of RAM or more), iMac (models with Intel processor, discrete graphics cards, and 16 GB of RAM or more), iMac Pro (all models are suitable), Mac Pro (all models are suitable). Parallels on Mac computers with M1 (M1 Pro, M1 Max) chips may not support recent games. Games that require DirectX 12 and later are currently not supported by Parallels. AppsOnMac recommends using Parallels’ free trial feature to determine whether you can run the game or not if you’re uncertain.

You can also emulate the original Dreamcast version.

Play Shenmue on Mac with Cloud Gaming services

If you have an old Mac or it cannot satisfy the Shenmue game system requirements, there is an easy solution. Cloud gaming services will be happy to provide you with sufficient computing power – though not for free, of course. All you need is a browser or a small client program and a good internet connection starting from 15 MBit/s. There are several great platforms that provide these services, among the best are Boosteroid, Xbox Cloud Gaming, Google Stadia, and Nvidia GeForce Now.

Try Xbox Cloud Try GeForce Now

Play Shenmue on Mac with BootCamp

Note: Mac computers with new Apple Silicon (M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max) currently do not support BootCamp. In this case, please, use the options above to run Shenmue on Mac

This method is simple but time-consuming. If your Mac meets all the system requirements above, you can play Shenmue on Mac by installing Windows. You need to set up a dual boot of Windows and Mac via BootCamp. This is an application that allows users to choose the system to work in on startup, however, you won’t be able to switch between systems like in Parallels. You will need to reboot your machine every time you want to switch from Mac to Windows and vice versa. Remember that Mac is just a computer, in the end. And while newer Macs have their own special Apple Silicon chips that cannot run Windows, older Macs are very much similar to computers that run Windows, they have Intel processors, compatible RAM, disks, and other components. So you can install Windows on an older Mac by allocating no less than 64 GB of disk space (to be able to run Windows and a couple of games) and following these steps:

For OS X El Capitan 10.11 and older

For MacOS versions prior to OS X El Capitan 10.11 you will need to create a bootable Windows USB.

  1. Download this Windows ISO file.
  2. Open Boot Camp Assistant (Go to Applications > Utilities).
  3. Define the Windows partition size and choose the Windows ISO file you’ve downloaded.
  4. Format the Windows partition and go through all Windows installation steps.
  5. When Windows boots for the first time, follow on-screen instructions to install Boot Camp and Windows support software (drivers)

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