During their panel at this year’s South By Southwest, Sega announced that a physical release of Sonic Mania would be coming to the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and the Switch sometime in ‘Summer, 2018’. It is expected to retail around $29.99 USD, and include an art book and Sega Mega Drive/Genesis-themed reversible cover.
This release will be titled Sonic Mania Plus, and include various additions to the original game. These additions include an ‘Encore Mode’, where players may explore acts in new ways; a new version of the pre-existing ‘Competition Mode’, which will allow up to four players; and the ability to play as Ray the Squirrel and Mighty the Armadillo – two of Sonic’s original comrades from the Japan-only 1993 arcade title, SegaSonic The Hedgehog. The nuances of how these modes will work, or how Ray and Mighty will play, has yet to be revealed.
Whilst Sega has confirmed that owners of Mania will be able to upgrade to the new Plus version via a small payment, any mention of a PC version of Sonic Mania Plus is curiously absent so far.
Additionally, a new racing game for the Sonic franchise has been announced, but no further details have been provided aside from the fact it will not be a sequel to All-Star Racing, Sonic R, or any previously existing title. A panellist also hinted that Christian Whitehead, developer of Sonic Mania, may be working on a new mobile project for the company, and a series of animations starring the Mania versions of Sonic and Co. is set to start airing on the official Sonic YouTube channel. It seems the next few months are set to be exciting for all the Sonic fans out there!