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SEGA announces Sonic the Hedgehog 4

Project Needlemouse takes shape.

SEGA has announced Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 for release on PS3, Wii and Xbox 360 this summer as a downloadable title.

Sonic 4 is the official name for "Project Needlemouse", SEGA's attempt to reboot the series with a new high-definition 2D platform adventure.

According to SEGA's Ken Balough, speaking to GameSpot, the game is set after Megadrive title Sonic & Knuckles and sees Sonic equipped with a homing attack in addition to spin dash, power sneakers and other familiar abilities.

The game runs in 1080p on PS3 and Xbox 360 and 480p on Wii, and will offer motion control via Wiimote or PS3 Sixaxis, along with online leaderboards for speed-running enthusiasts.

Balough also explained the "Episode 1" bit of the name. "When SEGA released Sonic 3, ultimately it was the part one of a story that saw its conclusion in Sonic & Knuckles. In that same spirit, Sonic the Hedgehog 4 is a bigger story, and this is that first chapter," he said.

SEGA recently revealed that Sonic is the only playable character in Sonic the Hedgehog 4.