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Sonic Frontiers targets Breath of the Wild fans with late 2022 release

As recent leaks had claimed, Sega is gearing up to release another Sonic the Hedgehog game and it’ll be called Sonic Frontiers. The name refers to the nature of the upcoming title, which will be unlike any past installment in the Sonic universe. Put simply, it sure looks like Sega is hoping to draw in Breath of the Wild fans with its next Sonic game.

Image: SEGA

Sonic Frontiers was introduced alongside a teaser trailer at The Game Awards 2021, giving fans their first look at the next installment in the lengthy Sonic the Hedgehog video game series. The upcoming titles will differ from the existing games in one big way, however, by bringing the hedgehogs to their first open-world environment.

Players will be free to explore a vast open world filled with a variety of landscapes, including forests, open fields, waterfalls, deserts, and other regions. In addition to the teaser trailer, Sega has released a handful of screenshots showing the kinds of environments players can expect.

SEGA

Sonic will, Sega says, still have his ultra-fast running ability and players will be tasked with battling enemies spread throughout the open-world environment (Starfall Islands). We see a cinematic version of those kinds of battles in the launch trailer, but Sega hasn’t yet shared any gameplay footage.

Stone structures in flower field

SEGA

Though additional details aren’t yet available — the Holiday 2022 release date aside — it is pretty clear Sega is targeting fans of existing massively popular open-world games like Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. Nintendo raked in tens of millions of sales with its hit Zelda title, with Breath of the Wild proving to be the most popular installment in the game franchise (via Wikipedia).

An open-world environment was one of the rumors that had been circulating since Sega teased a 2022 Sonic game earlier this year. The big question, though, is whether the company can manage to pull off something as excellent as Breath of the Wild. Some early commentary from players points out that while the idea of an open world is great, the actual environment revealed by Sega seems out of place with the cartoon hedgehogs.

Shallow lake with trees

SEGA

We’ve only seen a few screenshots from this world, so it’s unclear how robust it may be and what kind of buildings it may feature. It is possible that Sega plans to bring the classic landscapes from its side-scrolling titles to the upcoming 3D world, but whether it’ll pull off a style that complements — rather than contrasts — the animated characters is another matter.

Sonic’s modern design history has already been filled with some questionable choices, namely the movie version of the character that somehow managed to reach the promotional stage despite looking like, well, this. Hopefully, Sega took notes amid that design debacle and will be extra careful to give players the kind of world they want, not just cartoon hedgehogs in awkwardly realistic biomes.

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It sure looks like a new Sonic the Hedgehog game reveal is coming soon

Sonic the Hedgehog fans might have reason to tune into The Game Awards later this week because it looks like a new Sonic game will be revealed during the show. Sega has been dropping hints that a new Sonic the Hedgehog game will be revealed during The Game Awards, which host Geoff Keighley has been building up to be a big event even outside of the award announcements.

Image: Nintendo

Leaks and teases suggest new Sonic soon

If you follow either Sonic the Hedgehog or Geoff Keighley on Twitter, then you probably saw an interesting exchange between the two recently, with the Sonic account asking Geoff if he had any extra tickets to The Game Awards. After some banter about how the official Sonic account doesn’t follow Keighley on Twitter, we get confirmation that Sonic and Sega will be at the show later this week, implying a new game will be revealed during it (via Twitter).

While that would usually be enough for us, that’s not where the hints and leaks end. As spotted by Reddit user JamKingVAC in a post to the GamingLeaksAndRumors subreddit, the Sonic the Hedgehog franchise page on Steam has been updated to show that the series consists of 35 games instead of 34. Of course, there’s no new game to go along with that updated number, so it seems that Sega is preparing the Sonic franchise page ahead of time for a new announcement.

Reddit users also point to a freshly-discovered frontiers.sonicthehedgehog.com domain as evidence that a new game is coming. At the moment, visiting that domain returns a 403 error, but it’s possible that Sega is readying the official Sonic website for whatever this new game is.

What could this new Sonic game be?

Obviously, that domain suggests that this new Sonic game could be called Sonic Frontiers. It’s been a while since the last new 3D Sonic game, which was 2017’s Sonic Forces if we aren’t counting the remaster of Sonic Colors that launched earlier this year. The fact that Sega has trademarked the phrase Sonic Frontiers lends a little more credibility to this particular rumor (via Video Game Chronicles).

It could also be a new 2D Sonic game. While those are a rare sight in the 21st century, 2017’s Sonic Mania was quite possibly the best Sonic game since the original Genesis title. Given the positive reception to Sonic Mania, you’d think that Sega would want to follow up on it with a sequel, but we haven’t heard anything about that in the years since.

For now, the evidence points to a new 3D Sonic game called Sonic Frontiers, but we’re still a long way away from being sure about it. Assuming this new game is revealed at The Game Awards, we thankfully don’t have to wait long before we find out what it is because the show is happening Thursday, December 9th, at 7 PM EST.



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Idris Elba is Voicing Knuckles in Sonic the Hedgehog 2

Coming hot off the heels of the recently released The Suicide Squad, Idris Elba has just confirmed that he will be returning to theater screens once again to voice Knuckles the Echidna in the next Sonic movie, currently titled Sonic the Hedgehog 2.

Knock, knock….#SonicMovie2 #Knuckles pic.twitter.com/N1PW5XaCEd

— Idris Elba (@idriselba) August 10, 2021

Sonic the Hedgehog’s second movie adaptation was announced earlier this year after its very successful predecessor. The movie is confirmed to star Sonic, his sidekick Tails, Jim Carrey as Dr. Robotnik, and the first theatrical appearance of Knuckles.

The surprise casting was unveiled via a Twitter post straight from Elba himself. In his Tweet, Elba writes “Knock knock,” which happens to be a very popular Knuckles line from his Sonic Adventure theme song Unknown From M.E.

Before this casting announcement, there was tons of speculation on who would be lending their voice to the “new porcupine on the block with the buff chest.” Two names that were constantly floating around were Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Jason Momoa. Funnily enough, it seems that Sonic fans are reacting even more positively to the Elba confirmation than the “leaks” surrounding those two big names.

YOOO LETS GOOOOOOOOO
IDRIS ELBA WILL SING PUMPKIN HILL! https://t.co/DkUClRMgqy

— Matt McMuscles (@MattMcMuscles) August 10, 2021

With the inclusion of Knuckles in the film, it’s clear that this movie will most likely be based on Sonic 3 & Knuckles. There’s a good chance we could see Knuckles’ start as Sonic’s enemy, thanks to Robotnik’s lies, and his evolution into one of his closest friends and allies.

While there’s no trailer for the film yet, it’ll certainly be entertaining to hear Elba’s voice come out of a buff, little Echidna.

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Two Point Hospital gets Sonic the Hedgehog items alongside free-to-play weekend

Sega has revealed that two big promos are launching in Two Point Hospital today. With the first one, we’ll see a variety of Sonic the Hedgehog items go live in the game in celebration of Sonic‘s 30th anniversary. The second is a free-to-play promo that will allow newcomers to the game to check it out without paying for the privilege first.

As you can see from the trailer we’ve embedded below, probably the biggest draw of these free Sonic items is that you can now dress your staff up as Knuckles, Tails, Sonic, and Amy. The costumes aren’t all that’s included in this free pack, as there are also several decorative items for your hospital, whether that’s a Sonic statue of the palm trees from Green Hill Zone.

The game is also going free-to-play this weekend on a number of different platforms. On Steam and Xbox, Two Point Hospital will be free-to-play until Monday, August 2nd. On Nintendo Switch, the free-to-play promotion will last until Tuesday, August 3rd, so Switch owners are getting even more time to play the game before they have to pony up some cash.

Sadly, it seems that PlayStation 4 owners are being left out in the cold with this promotion, though they are still getting the free Sonic the Hedgehog items. On the platforms where Two Point Hospital is free-to-play, the game has also been discounted. On Xbox, the Jumbo Edition is down to $27.99 (compared to $39.99 on PS4). The Switch version hasn’t been discounted at the time of this writing, but we expect it to get the same discount that we see on Xbox.

On Steam, things work a bit differently. The base game is discounted to $8.74, while most of the DLC packs have been discounted by 50%. However, some DLC packs haven’t been discounted quite that much, such as the more recent Culture Shock and A Stitch in Time DLCs, but those are still discounted by 33% and 20% respectively. These sales will all be wrapping up next week, so if you’ve been thinking of picking up Two Point Hospital, it looks like now is the time to buy.

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Sonic Mania leads Epic Games Store’s free games this week

The free games on the Epic Games Store have rotated once more, and this week there are two big titles up for grabs. The first free game is a rather simple racer with a ton of style, and the second free game is quite possibly the best Sonic the Hedgehog game in the past 20 years. Both of them will be available for a week, at which point they’ll rotate out, and another free game will rotate in to replace them.

The first game up for grabs is Horizon Chase Turbo. While Horizon Chase Turbo is a relatively simple racing game – especially compared to some of the simulation racers out there – it has beautiful graphics and a killer soundtrack. The gameplay isn’t too bad either, even though it’s straightforward. Horizon Chase Turbo is definitely one to pick up if you’re a fan of arcade racers.

The second free game on tap this week is none other than Sonic Mania. Sonic Mania was released in 2017 and served as a big throwback to the era of 2D Sonic games. For a franchise that has been plagued with middling – and sometimes even outright bad – games for the past two decades, Sonic Mania definitely felt like a breath of fresh air.

Of course, the fact that Sonic Mania is free on the Epic Games Store this week probably isn’t a coincidence. The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise is turning 30 years old this year, and in fact, that anniversary happened earlier this week. Therefore, it’s safe to assume that Sonic Mania is free on the Epic Games Store because of the franchise’s big anniversary.

The Epic Games Store is offering two excellent games this week, so if you game on PC and don’t already own them, you should claim them before they rotate out next week. Both Sonic Mania and Horizon Chase Turbo are free until July 1st at 11 AM EDT, at which point they’ll be replaced by The Spectrum Retreat.

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‘Minecraft’ is getting Sonic the Hedgehog DLC

Not content to be merely a , Sega’s Sonic is making his . Just in time for the hedgehog’s 30th birthday on June 23rd, Mojang is releasing Sonic-themed DLC for its immensely popular sandbox title.

The downloadable content includes a bit of everything. Fan-favorite Sonic levels like the Green Hills Zone have gotten a blocky makeover, turning them into infinite runners you can play through with your friends. Naturally, they’ll be rings along the way for you and your buddies to collect as you race one another.

In addition to playing as Sonic, you can select other franchise favorites like Knuckles the Echidna, Miles “Tails” Prower and Amy Rose. Outside of those additions, you can grab a free Sonic the Hedgehog character creator item. Lastly, there’ll be a two-week server takeover that will feature minigames and a “special” surprise on one of the weekends.

The DLC is just the latest project to come out of Sega’s Year of Sonic, and there’s more in the pipeline. Lego is working on a . Netflix also plans to release a starting the hedgehog sometime in 2022. Dare we say, it’s never been a better time to be a Sonic fan. 

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The Sonic Anniversary Concert Was a Perfect Digital Event

The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise just celebrated its 30th birthday with no shortage of fanfare. Prior to the big day, players learned that Sonic Colors would get a rerelease, a new mainline game would be coming in 2022, and that the blue blur had teamed up with Minecraft for a left-field collaboration.

It’s been an exciting June for Sonic fans, but the best part of the monthlong celebration wasn’t a game at all — it was a special anniversary concert livestream. The two-hour musical performance spanned the franchise’s eclectic history with a mix of orchestral arrangements and a full-on rock set from series veterans Crush 40.

It was a nitro-fueled nostalgia trip that didn’t just show us the right way to celebrate a video game’s history; it was a shining example of how powerful digital events can be when done right.

Strike up the band

The Sonic anniversary stream started quietly in the middle of a low-key news day for gaming fans. A full orchestra took the stage, opening the show with a gorgeous rendition of the classic Green Hill Zone theme. For longtime fans, it was hard not to feel chills as the performers slowly worked their way through a suite of compositions that highlighted how strong the franchise’s soundtracks have always been. Hearing 8-bit bleeps and bloops translated to full string arrangements spoke to the lasting power of the original melodies in these games.

As the event pressed on, it slowly turned into a watercooler event for gaming fans. My Twitter timeline slowly began filling up with chatter as more people tuned in thanks to word of mouth. By the time Crush 40 took the stage, it started to feel like a real concert with fans hooting and hollering during songs like Live and Learn.

Success on two levels

The show worked on two specific levels. On one hand, it acted as a perfect retrospective of the franchise. The Sonic series has always been eclectic (in both positive and unflattering ways). The trip down memory lane was a fun reminder of just how many forms the series has taken in its 30 years. It’s gone from a colorful Mario competitor to an edgy 3D action series filled with teen angst.

Is there anything more surreal than seeing Shadow the Hedgehog cock a gun just one hour after watching a stage full of musicians in tuxedos perform a sweeping medley of ’90s nostalgia?

Beyond the celebratory nature of the stream, it was simply a perfectly crafted digital event. For the past year and a half, we’ve been flooded with livestreams that have come in many shapes and sizes. It’s become increasingly hard for those events to feel meaningful when there’s another one seemingly every few days.

Just look at this year’s E3, which offered viewers four straight days of gaming content. The whole affair was a bit of a mess, with no consistency from stream to stream, leaving periods of dead air that took the wind out of the event’s sails. It wasn’t exactly a memorable experience.

The band Crush 40, known for its Sonic songs.

Moment of collective joy

The Sonic concert was a rare example of a digital show that truly felt special. Part of that was just the nature of a live concert like this. Orchestral video game performances like this happen all the time, but fans usually have to hope a touring show comes to a city near them and shell out some serious money to see it. This brought that somewhat exclusive experience into our homes, turning social media into an amphitheater.

It was just as much about the fans as it was about the franchise. It felt like we, as viewers, got to participate in the show rather than idly watch a two-hour marketing stunt. Fans got to share an experience that felt at once personal and communal, like a good in-person concert or sporting event.

That’s exactly what we’ve been missing during this newfound age of livestreams. We often end up watching them because we feel like we have to, not because we want to. They’re forced social moments designed to generate engagement. Noisy Twitch chats filled with emote spam just don’t replicate the warm thrill of seeing thousands of fans enjoy a moment of collective joy with one another.

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Sonic Colors: Ultimate is a remaster, but it looks brand new

If you’ve ever played Sonic the Hedgehog and have looked forward to a return to greatness on a modern console, now would appear to be the time to get excited. The game Sonic Colors was originally released on Nintendo Wii and – shocker – Nintendo DS. It was first developed all the way back in 2008, just after the release of Sonic Unleashed. It was a strange time – and a great time for a great game to get lost on a console. Now, it’s time for that classic to return on a modern place to play.

The game that’ll be coming in 2021 is called Sonic Colors: Ultimate. The game is effectively the same as its original self, including both side-scrolling and third-person perspectives and a wild Sonic universe full of rings and enemies.

The big differences come in the variety of controls one can use to move through the game and defeat enemies, and the graphics. This game will be available in a DIGITAL DELUXE format that’ll include early access, “exclusive music,” “gold and silver wearables,” special “exclusive” player icons, and “sonic movie boost.” Pre-order for the game begins today.

The game Sonic Colors: Ultimate will be released for Nintendo Switch on September 7, 2021. UPDATE: This game will also be released for PC (in the Epic Games Store), on Xbox (Xbox One, Xbox Series X), and on PlayStation (PS4, PS5). UPDATE: The release date for Sonic Colors Ultimate is September 12, 2021. There’ll also be a companion animated miniseries by the name of Sonic Colors: Rise of the Wisps, released this summer to streaming platforms.

There’ll also be a Sonic the Hedgehog “pack” available for the game Two Point Hospital. This game is on PS4, Xbox One, Xbox Series X, Steam (PC), and on the Nintendo Switch. You’ll be able to attain the Sonic Pack on July 30, 2021.

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Sony Motion Sonic gesture-based music effect generator lands on Indiegogo

Crowdfunding continues to be a significant source of new product launches not only for the small independent developers that were initially envisioned to use the platforms but also for massive corporations such as Sony. Sony has revealed a new product called Motion Sonic aimed directly at musicians, DJs, and other performers. The product has landed on Indiegogo seeking support from those interested in it with the goal of raising a little over $79,000 with 31 days to go on the project.

So far, ten people have backed the project with pricing at around $218. The total money raised so far is $2220. The device is a bit difficult to explain and will be available in the US and Japan for iOS devices. It’s designed to help creators expand their creative reach with electronic musical instruments. Motion Sonic has a sensor that can tell when a performer gestures with their hand and can change the sound in pitch, vibrato, or modulation depending on the movement.

If a DJ uses Motion Sonic when the DJ raises their hand, a delay can be added to the music output. Motion Sonic is a system featuring a wearable motion sensor and a paired smartphone application. The sensor in the wearable device detects movement and transfers it to the smartphone app using Bluetooth. The Bluetooth signal connects to the instrument via an audio interface to actualize the desired sound effects.

Sony says the effects generator was developed to enable sound manipulation with body movements and to give artists a new creative dimension. Sony is offering the first 400 buyers the opportunity to purchase at $219. After the first 400 units are sold, the price for the Motion Sonic increases to $249. The funding campaign ends on June 28, and Sony expects to ship the Motion Sonic in March 2022. Sony is also working on new microphones under the Motion Sonic program that will amplify wind noise. The goal is to enable additional ways to harness body motion for sound.

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Cryptic New Sonic The Hedgehog Game Slated For 2022

There were a lot of announcements packed into Sega’s Sonic Central stream on Thursday, but none more exciting than the news of a brand-new Sonic the Hedgehog game coming in 2022. The game only got a cryptic logo, but Sega confirmed that it will come to Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.

A short teaser trailer at the end of the Sonic Central stream shows Sonic running through a forest. The video didn’t feature gameplay or even reveal the game’s title, but it appears to be a new, mainline 3D Sonic game.

In addition to the new game, Sega announced Sonic Colors: Ultimate, a rerelease of the Nintendo Wii exclusive Sonic Colors. This new port is coming to all platforms as well, and boasts a digital deluxe edition that promises more in-game cosmetics, plus early access and exclusive music.

Sega also announced Sonic Origins, a collection that features the classic Sonic games 1, 2, 3, Sonic & Knuckles, and Sonic CD all in one place. This compilation game is one of the first times that Sonic 3 will be featured on a new collection in a long time, as legal issues surrounding its soundtrack have held it back. No dates or platforms have been confirmed as of yet for this collection.

Sonic’s mobile titles are getting further support from Sega as well, with Sonic Dash and Sonic Forces receiving more events and updates. Sonic Racing for Apple Arcade is also adding retro-inspired tracks, music, and an old-school Sonic skin.

On the animated side of things, Sonic is getting a two-part Sonic Colors spinoff series titled Sonic Colors: Rise of Wisp. The franchise is also getting a new Netflix series, Sonic Prime, which is confirmed to feature 24 episodes and be set for a 2022 worldwide release.

Sega unveiled a myriad of other Sonic-related announcements regarding other games. The blue hedgehog and his friends are set to appear in the game Two Point Hospital via a “Sonic Pack” that brings characters and items from the series into the medical world. The upcoming Lost Judgement, a spinoff game of the Yakuza series, will feature arcade fighting game Sonic the Fighters in its digital arcade. Lastly, Sonic will be appearing as a costume in the new Sega game Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, further cementing the belief that this title will be replacing the Sonic & Mario At The Olympic Games series.

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