My inner eight year-old is constantly confused by this new era notion that Sonic the Hedgehog is now essentially a Nintendo property, but he’s partnered with Mario for years now in titles ranging from Smash Bros. to the Olympic games.
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It seems, however, that Sonic may not remain exclusive to his one-time rival, and might appear on Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PS4 as well. According to a display at the Nuremburg International Toy Fair, his future cross-console plans may have been leaked to the public.
The sign (via Spindash) relays information about a new Sonic animated series, as well as previously announced games like Sonic: Lost World for the Wii U and 3DS, and the Winter Olympics Sonic/Mario game for the Wii U in time for the Sochi event. But there’s one more game on the list, a unnamed 2015 Sonic title that is supposedly for all three platforms, Wii U, Xbox One and PS4.
This conflicts with a previous announcement from Nintendo and Sega that the next three Sonic games would be exclusively for the Wii U and 3DS. The first two titles in that arrangement are listed on this board, while the third was unannounced then, and still is now, But it seems it might not be a Wii U exclusive after all.
Losing this third Sonic game to the allure of multiplatform wouldn’t be the end of the world for Nintendo, as Sonic hasn’t exactly been a sales powerhouse for a long time now, but it certainly doesn’t help the perception that even allied 3rd party devs are weary of the Wii U’s lackluster sales. That said, even when previously announced Wii U exclusives go multiplatform like Rayman Legends, sometimes the Wii U version ends up being the most worthwhile anyway.
This wouldn’t be the first time a Sonic game was released for Sony or Microsoft’s systems. Sonic Generations in 2011 was out for the Xbox 360 and PS3. The same goes for Sonic Unleashed in 2009 and Sonic the Hedgehog in 2006, with other Sonic games on the PS2 and original Xbox before that. This exclusive deal with Nintendo has been a recent development. We’re waiting to hear back from Sega to see if this poster was mistaken, or if the next Sonic really is reverting to multiplatform.
Over the past decade or so, Sega’s Sonic games have received a wide range of review scores from terrible to decent. But there really hasn’t been one that’s been a critical darling or a sales blockbuster, and the franchise is still forever in search of the magic of the first few games. Sonic’s relative decline over the years is often most people’s primary example as to why Nintendo should never take Mario or its other franchises multiplatform, lest they suffer a similar drop in quality. I’m not sure the situations are the same, but Sega remains a cautionary tale in many ways.
Would you play a next gen Sonic title for Xbox One or PS4? What would you want to see from such a game?