This year, classic video game mascot Sonic the Hedgehog is turning 30, and while that little fun fact might have some of us feeling a bit old, Sega is choosing to celebrate the big day in an even bigger way. Earlier today, Sega hosted the Sonic Central livestream where they announced numerous new games, animated series, live events, and commemorative items that are all coming this year. In case you “gotta go fast,” we’ve compiled a quick recap of everything announced during today’s event.
First and foremost, the Sonic the Hedgehog series is all about the games, and the countless hours of fast-paced fun they bring with them. During the Sonic Central stream, Sega revealed their lineup of remasters, collections, and ports, as well as a brand new entry in the Sonic series. For starters, later this year we’ll be getting a remaster of the fan-favorite Wii game, Sonic Colors, called Sonic Colors Ultimate. The new version will include enhanced visuals, a new game mode, and other quality of life changes to make it ready for its new home on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on Sept. 7. Preorders for the game are already open at most retailers, with incentives such as a baby Sonic keychain, early access to the game, exclusive music, “gold & silver wearables,” exclusive player icons, and a Sonic movie boost for those who snag their copy early.
For those who, much like Sonic, are always on the go, plenty of fun mobile game announcements were also made. In Sonic Dash, a pirate-themed party is coming where players can earn Captain Shadow and Pirate Sonic characters. In Sonic Forces Mobile, the powerful, golden Super Sonic is coming to the game, along with a limited-time event that allows players to set up exclusive races with their friends called Party Match. This Halloween, a Sonic the Werehog costume is coming to both games. Lastly, in the Sonic Racing mobile game, Sega is allowing players to race as classic Sonic characters, in “classic cars,” on 3 new tracks based off of a “classic zone.”
Some Cool Cameos
Still within the realm of gaming are all the various cameos Sonic and his pals are making this year. On June 22, you can catch Sonic at the Olympic games in Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 — The Official Video Game, where you can compete in 18 events dressed up as Sonic himself. In the upcoming Sega game Lost Judgement, players can visit in-game Sega arcades and play a recreation of the 1996 arcade game Sonic the Fighters. In slightly more unusual news, Sonic is also coming to Two Point Hospital, a hospital tycoon game. A free pack filled with Sonic-themed costumes and décor for your hospital is coming to the game free on June 22. Lastly, the conference told fans to stay tuned for announcements on future collaborations before revealing a small clip from a little game called Minecraft.
Sonic Animated Series
While the conference didn’t have any information to dish out about the sequel to 2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog film, it did give us a first look at the new animated mini-series Sonic Colors: Rise of the Wisps and a bit more information about the upcoming Netflix animated series Sonic Prime. Set in the Sonic Colors universe, Rise of the Wisps is a two-part animation debuting this summer, and is apparently the first of many the studio is working on. Over at Netflix, the team behind Ben Ten and Big Hero Six is hard at work creating a 24 episode original series called Sonic Prime. The series follows Sonic as friends as they embark on a “high speed adventure in the strange and mysterious shatterverse.” Assuming production moves along as fast as the titular character, Sonic Prime should hit Netflix sometime in 2022.
A Virtual Symphony & Concert
What’s a party without music? To help celebrate the lil’ blue guy’s birthday, Sega is hosting a free (yes, free) live orchestra event on June 23 “full of your favorite tracks throughout the years.” In addition to a symphony, the event will feature performances by rock band Crush 40, famous for its contributions to various Sonic soundtracks, and Sega composer and DJ Tomoya Ohtani. For those interested in a sneak peek at the performance, you can catch one live at Geoff Keighley’s Summer Game Fest Kickoff stream on June 10.
Finally, the conference ended with a round-up of all the commemorative merchandise Sega us partnering up with various brands to create throughout 2021. According to their press release, the items include, “a Giant Eggman Robot playset from JAKKS Pacific Inc., a full-color hardcover Sonic encyclopedia from Dark Horse, a special super-sized 80-page comic book featuring three tales of colorful heroes and dastardly villains, commemorative 30th Anniversary gold and silver coins” from APMEX, and more.