A definitive answer on a divisive issue
I’ve seen the Sonic community argue about a lot of things in my day. There have been arguments over the validity of the Saturday Morning cartoon series, whether or not he’s called “Dr. Eggman” or “Dr. Robotnik”, and even what color Sonic’s own eyes should be. But perhaps the oldest and most heated argument has always been which version of Sonic CD‘s soundtrack you prefer: the more up-beat techno/electronica beats of the Japanese & European OST, or the laid back soft rock of the North American OST?
Both soundtracks, if you ask me, are great. Equally listenable, though arguing against Sonic Boom‘s significant nostalgic charm is difficult. Which is why I’m sure there’s an awfully large number of people out there who would like it if the upcoming digital version of Sonic CD included some way to toggle between the two soundtracks. Unfortunately, as we’re learning from the show floor of the Penny-Arcade Expo, we should not be holding our breath for such a feature.
Bartman3010, writing for the front page of Sonic Retro, confirms directly from Ken Balough himself that at this time, Sonic CD will contain one soundtrack, and one soundtrack only: The Japanese. Though not for a lack of trying:
Despite the low volume of the TV, one could determine that the music was without a doubt the Japanese soundtrack. Unfortunately, Ken confirmed that the US soundtrack would sadly not be available in the final version. (Sidebar from me: You can use the Xbox 360’s built in music player to blare your rare Sonic Boom! Music CDs.) What Ken stated on the matter is that they are still working to see what would need to happen on the legal side of things to get the US soundtrack in the final game. While DLC is a possibility, he’d much rather try to include the music for free, whether they can get it in the final or added in through a patch.
So there you have it. For now, Sonic CD will come with a single soundtrack, though things may change. Keep your fingers crossed, people. And while you keep your fingers crossed, read the rest of Bartman’s article.