Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog Turns 20, Joins Nintendo's Mario for London 2012 Olympics Video Game
Check out our E3 2011 category for more coverage from the show. See more photos in Shannon Cottrell's slideshows, "E3 2011: Day One" and "E3 2011: Day Two."
Shannon Cottrell Sonic the Hedgehog's 20th anniversary party
Inside the E3 booth for Sonic Generations, the 20th anniversary Sonic the Hedgehog game, there were glass encased shelves filled with collectibles. Amongst them was the first issue of Sonic the Hedgehog Archie comic. The comic belongs to Aaron Webber, associate brand manager for the popular franchise, who has been a fan of the speedy blue hedgehog for much of his life.
"I was probably five or six years old," says Webber. "My parents rented a Sega Genesis and brought it home. It had Sonic 3 in it and I was just enthralled. Genesis went on the Christmas list for that year."
Webber is part of the team working on Sonic's 20th anniversary celebration, which will include surprises throughout the year and will culminate with the release of Generations for Xbox 360 and PS3 this holiday season.
"The game itself is a mix of the best of the old Sonic, like the very early '90s Sonic, and the new, modern, Sonic. We've taken the original classic Sonic, he's a little shorter, a little bit chubbier, got black eyes," says Webber. "Fans love him. For the first time in 15 years, he's back in a video game."
Liz Ohanesian Aaron Webber of Sega
Webber indicates that the use of the original Sonic character design is a response to requests from fans.
"They thought they would never get heard, that the feedback would never be listened to and then we announced Sonic Generations and here is classic Sonic again," he says. "I was super excited to see classic Sonic return."
Some of the old zones will be appearing in Generations as well. Webber says that one of the highlights for him is "seeing Green Hill Zone," from the original game.
"In HD it looks fantastic," he says.
Webber can't say how long the game has been in development, but it's been a while.
"They've spent a lot of time on this game," he says, "but, I think with Sonic and it being his 20th birthday, if there's going to be one game to spend a lot of time on, this is one of the ones that really deserves it."