Today Sonic officially turns 30 years old as the original Sonic the Hedgehog for the Genesis released in North America for the first time back on June 23, 1991.
Featuring the iconic Green Hill Zone, Sonic's first outing was an instant smash hit and led to SEGA's early success in the home video game market. The launch of the game and its eventual pack-in promotion helped the Genesis overtake the Super Nintendo in sales by two to one, with SEGA later taking up to 65% of the market share.
This was the birth of a video game icon and the runaway success of Sonic finally gave SEGA the mascot they had been searching for after their previous attempts with Fantasy Zone's 'Opa Opa' and Alex Kidd.
In the 30 years that have passed, Sonic has featured in hundreds of games and collections as well as TV shows, movies, comics and merchandise, and while no new Sonic games are to be released in 2021, with the next mainline title being scheduled for release in 2022, as well as a Sonic Origins collection slated for release the same year; SEGA are instead celebrating today with the Sonic Symphony 30th Anniversary Concert featuring orchestrated renditions of classic Sonic tunes and a host of guest performers including Crush 40 and DJ Tomoya Ohtani. The live event can be watched via the YouTube video embed below.
Event starts at today at
Pacific Time: 12 PM PDT | Central Time: 2 PM CDT | Eastern Time: 3 PM EDT | British Summer Time: 8PM BST | European Time: 9 PM CEST
What are your favourite memories of Sonic the Hedgehog growing up and what are your favourite games in the franchise? Let us know below! I for one wouldn't be where I am today had the blue blur not left the impact it did on me as I played it almost religiously during my childhood. For me, no other platform games come close to matching the pure charm, style and unrivalled control and platforming perfection that the classic Mega Drive trilogy provide.
Here's to another 30 years of Sonic!