Sonic the Hedgehog 4, the next iteration of the classic franchise, has finally been given release dates for multiple platforms as well as pricing for its first episode.
iPhone gamers will have first crack at the game said to return to the roots of the Sonic series on October 7. It will be available on the Wii through WiiWare on October 11. On October 12, Episode 1 will be available on the PlayStation Network. Xbox Live Arcade will get the game on October 13. The price for Episode 1 will be approximately $15 (1500 Wii Points, 1200 Microsoft Points, $14.99 on PlayStation Network).
$15 in an interesting price point for a single episode. Depending on how long the episode lasts and the quality of the episode, the price of admission seems a little steep for gamers. Most expected a price point in the $10-$12 range at the most, considering it wasn't a full release. The announcement of the pricing evoked a reaction similar to the Modern Warfare 2 map pack pricing fiasco for me. It is content you want and have been waiting for, but the price causes one to rethink the purchase. I think it would appeal to more people at a lower price point.
Remaking, reimaging, and reviving classic franchises is a bold move for a video game developer. In the case of Sonic, many have become disenfranchised with the series and are hoping this brings back the classic gameplay they loved. The preview gameplay and graphics have excited many in the gaming community. Sonic Episode 1 has the potential to reignite Sonic fans' passion for the series and mark the franchise's return to prominence. The game will feature motion controls for PlayStation 3 and Wii and will be playable in 1080p high definition on both the Xbox 360 and the PS3.
My excitement for the game hasn't waned, but the probability of me purchasing it has gone down a bit. Check out some gameplay trailers and see if the return of Sonic to his roots is worth the price. For me, it will be a game time decision.
Sonic The Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 will dash onto the iPhone, WiiWare, PlayStation Network, and Xbox Liver Arcade in mid-October.