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Sonic Boom Announced For Wii U and 3DS, Aimed At A Western Audience

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It was reported earlier this week that Sega has a new Sonic title in the works, scheduled for 2015. The company quickly responded with a statement that those reports were incorrect. In spite of this, Sega has today unveiled Sonic Boom, a new direction for the franchise which will encompass at least one new game, a TV series and “extensive” merchandising. This new push offers a redesign of the classic characters, though only Knuckles is markedly different, but you can check that out for yourself in the video embedded below.

The new game will feature Sonic, Knuckles, Tails and Amy, acting as a prequel to the TV series and focussing on co-operative gameplay while containing the speed, combat and exploration that fans have come to expect from the franchise over the years. Contrary to the earlier report, Sonic Boom will be the third title of Sega’s exclusivity agreement with Nintendo, being made available only on the Wii U and 3DS. For the first time, development duties have been handed off to Western studios with the console version created by Big Red Button Entertainment — an independent and unproven studio founded by former members of Naughty Dog and Activision Publishing. Their website states that they have been working for two years on the title. The 3DS version is being crafted by Sanzaru Games, the studio behind Sly Cooper: Thieves In Time.

Speaking to Polygon, veteran Sonic designer, Takashi Iiazuka, said that the decision to outsource Sonic Boom was inspired by the desire to “make sure it was developed best for Western audiences primarily“. He brought up Sonic X which was inspired by anime and designed to appeal to Japanese audiences and mentioned that Boom is a kind of counterpoint to that. However, he also mentioned that the core Sonic Team in Japan is still working on other titles in the franchise, though refused to comment on whether they would be available on the PS4 and XBO as per the poster uncovered earlier this week.

Damien Lawardorn is an aspiring novelist, journalist, and essayist. His goal in writing is to inspire readers to engage and think, rather than simply consume and enjoy. With broad interests ranging from literature and video games to fringe science and social movements, his work tends to touch on the unexpected. Damien is the former Editor-in-Chief of OnlySP. More of his work can be found at https://open.abc.net.au/people/21767

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Sony Unveils Plans to Expand Studios, Improve PS Now

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Sony held its annual Investors Relations Day today where the company has unveiled plans to maintain its position as market leader of next-gen consoles.

The company enforced that it believes in console generations, especially with the next-generation PlayStation 5 console, capturing the power of new technology to bring transformative and immersive gaming experiences.

The key to Sony delivering its promise will be the new partnership with Microsoft, using the rival company’s Azure cloud technology to improve streaming services. PlayStation Now currently runs on Sony’s servers and has about 700,000 subscribers, however, the new deal could help grow their subscriptions to 5 million.

PlayStation Now will be improved to offer 1080p resolution streaming and beyond, and the quality of content will be enhanced as well, suggesting there may not be as much of a delay with the release of AAA titles on PlayStation Now as there has been so far.

Sony’s PlayStation 4 had immense success from its own exclusive games made by internal studios such as Guerrilla Games, Sony Santa Monica and Naughty Dog. Both God of War and Spider-Man topped most players’ and critics’ GOTY lists in 2018 – both PS4 exclusive games.

Jim Ryan also confirmed plans to invest further in its game development by expanding Sony Worldwide Studios. This would be either through organic growth or acquisitions.

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