The wait is over, and the not-so-cryptic Project Needlemouse mystery has been solved: SEGA announced this morning that Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is official and will be arriving sometime this summer via Xbox LIVE Arcade, the PlayStation Network, and the Wii Shop Channel. SEGA has opened the official website for the game, and details will slowly be unveiled there as countdown timers on different sections of the site eventually tick away.
Here’s what we do know:
Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is a direct sequel to the Sonic games that were on the SEGA Genesis platform. The game is going to be episodic, meaning that it’s going to arrive in playable chunks. The gameplay mechanics will be similar to the Genesis games as well, so players who have played the original Sonic games should have no problem jumping in and playing. There will also be leaderboard support in some fashion, and at least some kind of motion control for the Wiimote and the PlayStation 3’s seldom-utilized Sixaxis controller will be implemented.
Despite the potential pitfalls of episodic content, SEGA has given Sonic fans good reason to cheer and to look forward to this summer. Look for much more detailed information about Sonic the Hedgehog 4 as it becomes available; in the meantime, be sure to check out GameSpot‘s exclusive premiere coverage of the iconic blue hedgehog’s upcoming adventure… and thanks to them for providing us with the early info!