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Sonic The Hedgehog Celebrates 15th Anniversary
Sonic The Hedgehog Celebrates 15th Anniversary
June 23, 2006 | By Jason Dobson

June 23, 2006 | By Jason Dobson
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Sega has announced that its azure speedster Sonic the Hedgehog turns 15 years old today. The character was first introduced to North America on June 23, 1991 in Sonic the Hedgehog for the Sega Genesis as a way for the company to combat Nintendo's flagship character Mario. Since then, he has gone on be featured in numerous game titles that have sold more than 44 million units worldwide.

To celebrate Sonic's birthday, Sega announced that it will release a number of new titles featuring the blue mascot, for next-generation platforms as well as for the PSP. Additionally, Sega will release Sonic The Hedgehog Genesis, featuring the original 16-bit game, exclusively for the Game Boy Advance this November. The game will feature two new additions to the classic debut, including Sonic’s Spin-Dash move and a new save ability, and will feature a MSRP of $19.95.

Sonic will make his first appearance on next-gen consoles with Sonic The Hedgehog for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 this fall. Sonic will also debut this fall on the PSP with Sonic Rivals, a one-on-one racing platformer that also features other characters from the series such as Knuckles. Finally, Sega will release Sonic Wild Fire, a retelling of the classic tale Arabian Nights, in 2007 for the Wii.

“Sonic’s 15th birthday is a landmark occasion bringing Sega and Sonic fans together to celebrate the hedgehog’s trademark speed, heroism, and attitude,” said Scott A. Steinberg, vice president of marketing, Sega of America. “The breathtaking speed and gameplay innovation that Sonic introduced in 1991 will reach new heights in Sonic The Hedgehog, Sonic Rivals, and Sonic’s new adventure for the Wii.”

He added: “These titles continue a super-Sonic legacy of ground-breaking gameplay and story elements that only next-gen consoles can deliver.”

[UPDATE - 06/23/06 10.04am - reader Josiah Colborn writes in to note that: "...in the recent Gamasutra news story by Jason Dobson about Sonic the Hedgehog's 15th anniversary, Sonic is referred to as a famous "rodent". Rodents are characterized by their large, flat incisors, built for gnawing. Hedgehogs do not have those."

"In addition, all rodents belong to the Order "Rodentia". Hedgehogs belong to the order "Insectivora", along with shrews and moles (which are also not rodents). This is a forgivable mistake, as even www.dictionary.com lists them as rodents, with Princeton apparently backing them up."

Gamasutra regrets the error, and heartily suggests that you read the rest of Josiah's letter for important Diddy Kong-related information.]


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