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Sega’s Sonic Origins retro collection coming this June

Four Sonic the Hedgehog 16-bit games in one package

Michael McWhertor is a journalist with more than 17 years of experience covering video games, technology, movies, TV, and entertainment.

Sega’s Sonic Origins collection will bring Sonic the Hedgehog, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and Sonic CD to current gaming platforms on June 23, the publisher announced Wednesday. (That’s Sonic the Hedgehog’s canonical birthday, if you want to get him a gift card.)

Sonic Origins will be released digitally for Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X, and will cost $39.99. A “Digital Deluxe” version with extra perks, including more challenging missions, special character animations, and music tracks from other Genesis titles, will cost $44.99.

In addition to the four Sega Genesis-era games listed above, Sonic Origins will include a number of special features, like an Anniversary Mode with widescreen visuals and an infinite number of lives, and missions where players can earn in-game medallions by completing challenges. Sega showed some examples of those mission types for the original Sonic the Hedgehog in a screenshot released Wednesday:

The Mission menu screen showing a number of challenges for the original Sonic the Hedgehog in Sonic Origins Image: Sega

Medallions can be spent on content from an in-game vault, to try out special stages, and other items. A digital pre-order bonus offer includes 100 medallions, as well as Mirror Mode and a Mega Drive-style letter box.

Sega announced Sonic Origins last May, during Sega’s Sonic Central livestream. The new collection is notable for its inclusion of or NeSonic 3 & Knuckles, a Genesis game that has recently been excluded as part of classic Sonic the Hedgehog rereleases. Sonic 3 was not included as part of the Sega Genesis Mini library (though Sonic Spinball was), nor was it given the Sega Ages treatment for Nintendo Switch, the way Sonic the Hedgehog and Sonic the Hedgehog 2 were.

Sonic fans have speculated, without confirmation from Sega, that Sonic 3 & Knuckles’ rerelease is complicated by thorny music rights. Some of the Genesis game’s music was composed by singer Michael Jackson and keyboardist Brad Buxer, but according to Buxer, Jackson was not happy with Sega’s implementation of his songs. Some rereleases of Sonic 3 (like the 1997 Windows PC port) have featured different music tracks, said to have been swapped in from an earlier version of the game.