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Sega has announced a new launch date for the official next installment of the famous, often misunderstood, Sonic franchise. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 will release as a downloadable game on October 12, 2010 on PSN for $14.99. The episodic title will also be released on the Wii virtual console, XBLA and the iTunes App Store. Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 was slated for a summer release. No word on why the game was moved up into a much more competitive market or how many episodes will follow.
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 takes players back to the golden age of the genesis adhering to the core mechanics that made Sonic the Hedgehog 1—3 and Sonic CD so successful. Recent Sonic titles have been heavily criticized for straying too far from the original formula and shoehorning useless characters into the main gameplay. The game follows the Street Fighter book of how to make a comeback by updating the look of the game with 3-D textures and backgrounds while preserving the refined, classic 2-D feel.