SXSW is in full swing in Austin, Texas, and yesterday Sega was on hand to share details of what Sonic the Hedgehog is getting up to in 2017. The big news is that Sonic Mania will miss its previously announced spring 2017 release date, and will instead launch this summer.
The reason behind the delay is very simple — the team needs more time to ensure that Sonic Mania meets fan expectations. Sonic Team head Takashi Iizuka stated that quality is Sega's primary concern, which is unsurprising, given that the game is explicitly aimed at the franchise's hardcore fanbase.
A new Classic Zone set to be featured in the game was also revealed at the event. The stage is based on Flying Battery Zone from Sonic & Knuckles, and the brief segment of gameplay footage that was shown suggests that the team has done a great job in recreating the look and feel of classic Sonic gameplay.
Sega is clearly doing everything possible to ensure that Sonic Mania appeals to gamers who remember the character's peak back in the 90s. Alongside the more modern Sonic Forces, 2017 could be a very good year for Sonic fans, after a lengthy period filled with underwhelming releases.
Sonic Mania will launch for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC in summer 2017.