I'm retrieving all the possbile info on the shenmue betas in order to make an article about the main differences about the shenmue builds from all the old footage and images around, having more videos from EARLY Shenmue 2 might help a lot in this research as this is one of the games ( and betas ) that fascinates me the most.
And as I get some more moeny I'll try to look for some beta discs for further research and documentation, if you have any info on the location of these or would like to sell please PM me. Correct me If I am wrong in any of this as I don't have all the info and I'm human so I can make mistakes lol.
I'd say there are 4 builds/betas of the shenmue engine, the first one, being almost like a graphically upgraded port of the saturn version with Ryo's colored wrist hand and no jacket, and saturn version like animations, White Ryo's bag, etc. The second build features Ryo's jacket as well as an overall upgrade of graphics and animation, Ryo's bag is brown. Places are a bit more detailed but yet they look "empty" compared with newer versions, old choice selector is on this build but green and red colored for YES/NO options. Next build has some minor changes from the second one, more graphical upgradings but animations remain the same and a different choice selector, shenmue 1 would be made from this one ( since shenmue 1 uses this selector ) This is the build showed too on the Bailu Village images and that "R" button action similar to the way shenmue 1 handles those events ( just before attacking charlie on shenmue 1 ).
Builds 2 and 3 are most likely the ones showed on elder screen and the shenmue premier video. Build 4 is the last one which is pretty much the same as the retail versions, and "old-man" conversation ( form shenmue ) is from this build