“Sonic the Hedgehog” Releases Today

“Sonic the Hedgehog” Releases Today

by June 23, 1991

Can Sega Finally Do What Nintendon’t?

In many ways, today will mark the beginning of a big gamble for Sega, as a new character-based platformer, Sonic the Hedgehog, will make its way into stores like Babbage’s and Electronics Boutique today.  Check your malls for availability.

You’ve no doubt read the previews, and you’ve seen the early screens in magazines.  Sonic, from what we can tell, will contain both style and substance, holding together the traditional elements on a platformer while exploiting the protagonist’s super speed.  Sonic must defeat robots and the evil Dr. Robotnik across six zones, divided into three acts.  Our review editor, Ryan Bloom, will have his thoughts on the game soon.

For their part, Sega seems keen on the blue hedgehog.  An entire marketing campaign has been developed around the hedgehog.  Through special state-of-the-art technology, TSSZ brings you one of those commercials, which you can watch below.  We learn something new from the spot; it appears Sega will be taking on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System–already with a couple months of Super Mario World under its belt–and drop the price of the Genesis system to $149.95.  It’s a tremendous risk for the company; Altered Beast did little to raise the Genesis’s profile, which has fallen dark in Nintendo’s shadow almost ever since its botched, piecemeal 1989 launch.  That, despite an already aggressive marketing campaign which featured the tagline Genesis Does what Nintendon’t, and offered a free game to new buyers.

Sonic will have a month to prove itself before Sega releases the game in Japan.  We’ll be gauging reaction to the game as more of your comments come in through the mail.  Check back with us throughout today for more coverage of what could be a turning point in Sega’s video game history.