16-Bit Sonic is back, and he's looking cooler than ever

Sonic the Hedgehog is back, and this time around, he’s returned to his glorious 16-bit form. During a San Diego Comic-Con panel, Sega announced Sonic Mania, a new 2D sonic game that could be exactly what fans have been waiting for.

The game is being developed by Sega of America in collaboration with PagodaWest Games, along with Christian Whitehead and Simon Thomley. The inclusion of PagodaWest and Whitehead should ease any concerns fans may have. PagodaWest is an award-winning indie game developer that’s most well known for the mobile game Major Magnet, while Whitehead remastered Sonic 1, Sonic 2, and Sonic CD for console and mobile.

In a press release, Head of Sonic Team Takashi Iizuka stated “Sonic Mania was born out of our fans’ love of the classic Sonic 2D platform games … this type of collaboration is a first for SEGA and we hope everyone will be both surprised and delighted by this title. Sonic Mania has been a passion project for the entire team and we look forward to sharing more details about it later this year.” Iizuka also highlighted the dedication of the team to have a playable game ready for the hungry audience at SDCC.

After a string of less-than-stellar Sonic games, Sega apologized for disappointing the blue guy’s fans. The company has since about-faced and is focusing on creating quality content. Sega is seemingly more forward and direct with consumers now. This is most evident in its Sonic the Hedgehog Twitter account, which is uniquely self-aware and relentlessly memetic. And after the critical and commercial flop of Sonic Boom, the publisher wants to do right by fans. Sonic Mania is looking like a good first step.

Sonic Mania is set to release sometime in 2017 for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

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