So, that was Sonic Central 2023. This year’s annual blue blur showcase certainly would have had some amazing reveals, if much of it was not already announced at Summer Game Fest and the Nintendo Direct earlier this week. But however you felt about the event, there’s no denying there was a lot of information shared in such a short space of time. Let’s go through it piece by piece and take it all in, shall we?
Happy Release Day!
If you hadn’t noticed, SEGA actually released a game today (well, an expansion to a collection of games). So it made total sense for the company to focus on Sonic Origins Plus at the top of this thing, otherwise their marketing department would be pretty bad at their job. A release day trailer was shown at the start of Sonic Central 2023.
Open (Zone) Your Birthday Presents
Happy Birthday Sonic! We were starting to think that SEGA had forgotten all about this, but we actually got a look at Sonic Frontiers’ second free DLC pack, titled “Sonic’s Birthday Bash”. Obviously meant to celebrate the blue blur’s 32nd, the expansion contains a number of new open zone challenges, collectible Koco, costumes, moves and a New Game + mode. This was practically the headliner of Sonic Central simply because it contained brand new footage and information. Check out more details in our news story here.
Sonic Speed Simulator may be a game that has become more well-known for its controversies these days, but the Roblox project’s partnership with SEGA continues at pace with today’s announcement of a new Classic Sonic skin. And to be fair, he does look exceptionally cute. Look at him in his little birthday tuxedo and top hat. If you’re someone who plays Sonic Speed Simulator, you’ll be certain to find this celebratory character waiting for you right now.
Binge-Watching & Binge-Running
Sonic Central was pretty good for some Sonic Prime news, as we were treated to a brand new teaser trailer for the next episode in the Netflix animated series. You can catch up on all of that in our separate news story here. The show picks up again from July 13, and that’s the day a special version of Sonic Dash will also be released. If you’re curious as to why Sonic Prime characters can’t just be released on the already-existing Sonic Dash app as limited edition characters, consider that Netflix has bags of money – that’s probably why Sonic Prime Dash exists. Good for them.
Sonic Prime Dash wasn’t the only mobile Sonic news that came from the Sonic Central showcase. If you play Sonic Dash and Sonic Forces Speed Battle religiously enough, you’ll get to unlock some crazy cool new characters. From Super Silver to Dragon Hunter Lancelot to Super Classic Sonic. Sounds like a fantastic time. Check out the full story right here.
There appeared to be time to talk about a lot of collaborations in this year’s Sonic Central, including this admittedly super-cool one involving the return of long-forgotten Dreamcast classic Samba de Amigo*. While the return of Amigo and his rhythmic ways has already got us super excited, the addition of Sonic the Hedgehog as a guest – along with a number of Sonic songs in the tracklist such as ‘Fist Bump’ – is the icing on the cake. More details here. SAMBA!
(*Yes, we know there was that version on the Wii, but… did it… really exist? Do you want to remember it existing? Ask yourself that.)
Sonic (Music) World Adventure
You can finally call the Sonic Symphony a World Tour now, as SEGA revealed a number of new locations for the upcoming orchestral extravaganza. Paris, Tokyo, Dusseldorf, Montreal, Sao Paulo and more were announced for the rest of 2023 and beyond. Check out the full details right here.
And Now For Something Completely Different…
SEGA also wanted you all to remember that they put a lot of time and effort into its ‘Tails Tube’ social video series, which sees Tails become a ‘VTuber’ (or would that just be Tails being a YouTuber, because if we’re pretending he’s real he wouldn’t be virtual would he? Argh, our brains hurt) and spout some fun stuff to other Sonic characters. It wasn’t a terribly interesting segment, but it’s always nice to hear Colleen O’Shaughnessey do her thing.
What Are Ya Buyin’?
As is customary with these Sonic Central showcases, there was an update on the extensive licensing and merchandising that has been planned for the Sonic franchise. And boy, there was so much of it that it took us forever to collate them all in our roundup article here. Much of it we had already known about – a bit like the entire Sonic Central to be honest – but there were some cool reveals, like the ESP Sonic guitars and the Jakks Pacific Death Egg diorama. All we know is, our wallets are going to be very angry at us over the next year.
SDCC: Sonic Dog-Chili Concierge
We’re not sure who really needed to hear this, but there’s going to be a Sonic the Hedgehog themed restaurant setting up shop at San Diego Comic Con next month. It was such a throwaway announcement in the Sonic Central that we wondered if it was worth just waiting for the right moment on social media to talk about this instead. Still, we’re hoping to be at the show next month so we’ll make sure to road test those chili dogs for you and let you know if they taste any good!
A LEGO Eggman Takeover
Now this was cute. A total time-filler, but we adore Mike Pollock and his sultry Eggman voice, so we’ll take any excuse to hear him go at it in a sketch like this. While discussing the new LEGO Sonic sets, the Sonic Central is ‘disrupted’ by a fantastic rap by Dr. Eggman, who wants to take the time to highlight the fact that the LEGO company actually fixed his presence within the LEGO world and made him into an official Minifig. The tiny brick dictator also suggested a new look for Sonic, as you can see above. #MakeLEGOSonicMoreEggman.
A Meeting of Minds
With Sonic Superstars heralding the return of the blue blur’s prodigal son – original character designer Naoto Ohshima – SEGA took some time in its Sonic Central showcase to interview both him and Takashi Iizuka on developing the upcoming 2D Classic Sonic adventure. Don’t expect much in the way of interesting answers – in the short clip that was shown the questions and responses were pretty much fluff, and the extended interview on the Sonic YouTube channel isn’t much better. But we love the fact that Iizuka-san and Ohshima-san are sitting in the same room together working on Sonic again, we think that’s really nice.
Built Like A Brick Speedhouse
The most random thing of the show was the surprise reveal that LEGO and SEGA were collaborating on some kind of content for Sonic Superstars. Like… why? But you know what? Maybe that’s the wrong question to ask. This Sonic Central was quite heavy on the LEGO love this year, so it makes sense that some of that would seep through to the latest game in the series. We later learned that this is in fact themed DLC for the game, which sees you fight LEGO Dr. Eggman as LEGO Sonic. You can check out more in our story here.
And that was that! What a lot of information, hmm? Let us know what you thought of the Sonic Central 2023 in the comments section below!