One Man, One Tidbit, One Leak?
It’s normally not news when a downloadable title hits Microsoft’s PartnerNet–the private alternative to XBOX Live meant for developers only–as it’s standard procedure for review…except when it’s about the next big thing.
In 2010, the next big thing was Sonic the Hedgehog 4, and a series of leaks spearheaded by several in the community lead to an embarrassing near complete look at the title months before Sega wanted anyone to see. Now, we have Sonic CD confirmed for the system, which wouldn’t be such a big thing were it not for rampant speculation an advanced engine built by one of the community’s own, Christian Whitehead, may be behind it.
If you remember back to 2009, Whitehead, known commonly as The Taxman, released a video proof of concept showing Sonic CD running on the iPhone via an engine dubbed the Retro Engine. Shortly after the video’s release, Whitehead removed it with nary a peep, prompting talk Sega may be in talks to scoop up the versatile code for their own use.
Fast forward to last night, when a particular Tweet caught our eye. It came from Endri Lauson, who was one of the first to dish dirt on Sonic 4: Episode I well before video leaks confirmed his remarks. He’s talking again on his Twitter account, speaking frankly about Sonic CD. The only way Lauson would know anything concretely is if he again accessed the game via PartnerNET, just as he purported to do with Sonic 4:
But why, my lord, does SCD XBLA runs at 30FPS?! I hope it’s an early build…err… I mean, I hope it’s fixed in the final ver.
While there’s no clear way to tell if the Retro Engine is behind the Sonic CD port on this statement alone, it does indicate a build is available for private review–almost foolishly so, considering Sega’s past troubles with PartnerNET. But pair that with additional news, in particular from a writer at the website Vandal.net according to Sonic Paradise, who claims Sonic CD for XBOX Live will be more than a straight port. Access to the build could offer significantly more clues as to the game’s development, and who’s behind it.
So, there’s the lead, and we are treating said lead as rumor. The question now is, who’s willing to do the detective work? If you happen to know more about these circumstances, we urge you to send a news tip by clicking Send News Tips at the top of the page, and tell us what you know. You can remain anonymous. In the meantime, we thank Ash the Dragon of Sonic Paradise for the additional research used in this article.