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Press release: 1996-05-16: SEGA ANNOUNCES FIRST-EVER CROSS-PLATFORM LAUNCH FOR SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

From Sega Retro

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This is an unaltered copy of a press release, for use as a primary source on Sega Retro. Please do not edit the contents below.
Language: English
Original source: Sega.com (archived)


SEGA ANNOUNCES FIRST-EVER CROSS-PLATFORM LAUNCH FOR SONIC THE HEDGEHOG

LOS ANGELES, May 16, 1996 -- In the flash of a blue streak, Sega of America today announced its massive cross-platform launch of four new Sonic The Hedgehog titles for Sega Saturn , Genesis , PICO , Game Gear . Later this year, Sega 's most popular icon will make his much- anticipated 3D debut on Sega Saturn, return to Genesis in 3D, and make his first appearance on Sega's early learning aid, Pico. Sega Entertainment, Inc. will also deliver Sonic to PC users this Fall.

"Sonic's cross platform launch is a major milestone for Sega, unifying our television consoles with the character that started the gaming revolution. And now, Sonic's at it again. Each Sonic title will embody new and varying story lines, gameplay dynamics and worlds to explore," said Tom Kalinske, president and CEO of Sega of America.

Sonic made his debut on the Sega Genesis in 1991, bringing in a revolution in 16-bit gaming in terms of graphics and gameplay dynamics. Sonic's instant conquest led to the development of several other Sonic games to expand the popular character into a series. "Sonic the Hedgehog 2" rose to and remains Sega's top-selling Genesis title of all-time, selling over five million copies worldwide. More than 15 million Sonic titles have been sold worldwide since 1991.

Sega introduced a new move with the game, the "spindash," a power up with which players could activate Sonic's fast travel through out the game.

"The 'spindash,' along with Sonic's attitude, brought a whole new play dynamic to gaming," Kalinske continued.

"With each generation of Sonic games, we introduced revolutionary gaming elements. For instance, with the original 'Sonic the Hedgehog,' the 'speed' barrier was first broken. With 'Sonic & Knuckles ' there was the lock-on technology, where players could lock-on other Sonic games for added fun with Knuckles. And now, with this year's Sonic on the Sega Saturn and Genesis, Sonic moves from a 2D environment to an exciting 3D world," added Kalinske.

When Sonic 'spindashed' his way to the public, a revolution started in 16-bit gaming. The Sonic phenomena opened up the gaming world to the masses, and Sega rose past Nintendo to be the leader in the interactive entertainment industry. Based on an independent popularity poll, Sonic the Hedgehog ranked at the top of the awareness chart with super-athlete Michael Jordan according to teenage boys.

Each new version in this year's Sonic line-up will embrace the spirit and hallmark elements of the original Sonic series which made it a favorite among game players. These qualities include: speed, great graphics, tight game control and fun gameplay.

Sega Saturn's tremendous processing muscle and 3D graphics capabilities will have players spindashing across the floor, the walls and the ceiling in full 360 degree freedom of movement. Possessing the ability to defy gravity as his world continually rotates, Sonic must help the last of the legendary Ringsmiths against the diabolic Dr. Robotnik.

Tapping the three 32-bit processors power of Sega Saturn, Sega has created a true 3D environment for Sonic by using a combination of rendered and texture-mapped polygons and sprites.

Pushing the Genesis to new extremes, Sonic comes home to his original platform in a whole new 3D world. With fully rendered sprites and polygons, Sonic's 2D world is opened to the possibilities of 3D excitement and SGI-rendered environments and characters.

Follow Sonic as he journeys to seven new amazing zones, each complete with two acts and a challenging boss. Final bosses and game endings vary depending on how successfully the player guides Sonic in his quest to rescue the animals of South Island from the evil Dr. Robotnik.

Home players won't be the only ones enjoying a new Sonic game this year. The first 2D computer graphics rendered game for the Game Gear, "Sonic Blast" promises to be eight megs of fun for the gamer on the go!

Sonic also makes his debut on Pico, one of the nation's best-selling electronic learning aid. Now learning with Sonic can be just as fun! Each book page contains a different attraction in a fun-house where up to two players can match skill and dexterity against the evil Dr. Robotnik. With the help of Sonic and Tails, children develop hand-eye coordination while having fun as they play games such as Skeeball, Hoops, Concentration, Robotnik-Bash and many more.

Sega Entertainment, the PC company dedicated to bring Sega characters to the PC in traditional gaming and edutainment titles, will bring Sonic to the home school room in "Sonic Schoolhouse." Using rendered 3D realtime graphics in first person perspective, kids ages 5 - 9 can learn to solve math and reading problems with their buddy Sonic. Set in a classroom style environment, kids who successfully answer the problems earn recess and field trip time where they have the opportunity to unwind with "outside" activities and learn additional fun facts. Difficulty settings range from kindergarten to fourth grade skill levels.

The Sega CD version of "Sonic CD" will also make its way to the PC. Now that the PC has become more pervasive in homes and has grown as a viable interactive entertainment medium, Sonic will be introduced to a whole new audience. Sonic isn't just for the dedicated home platform owner anymore. "Sonic CD" on PC will be available in August.

Other Sonic titles currently available for the Genesis include: "Sonic the Hedgehog," "Sonic the Hedgehog 2," "Sonic the Hedgehog 3," "Sonic and Knuckles" and "Sonic Spinball." Game Gear titles include: "Sonic the Hedgehog," "Sonic the Hedgehog 2," "Sonic Spinball," "Sonic Triple Trouble" and "Sonic Chaos." Sega CD titles include: "Sonic CD" and the music CD, "Sonic Boom."