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Sega fans rejoice: Sonic 4 on the way

After a 16-year wait, Sega unveils a follow-up to Sonic the Hedgehog 3 is coming to the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Nintendo Wii this summer.

Now playing: Watch this: Game trailer: Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1

Last year, Sega announced that it was working on Project Needlemouse, its code name for a reinvention of the popular Sonic the Hedgehog franchise. After a long wait, Sega has finally unveiled that Project Needlemouse is in fact, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1. (See embedded video.)

Unlike Sonic's more recent 3D (mis)adventures, Sega's next Sonic game is a direct follow-up to Sonic the Hedgehog 3, which launched on the Sega Genesis back in 1994.

According to Sega associate brand manager Ken Balough, who recently sat down with GameSpot to talk about the game, Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 will pick up after Sonic & Knuckles. Like its predecessors, the game will be in 2D.

The Wii and PlayStation 3 versions of the game will support motion, thanks to the Wii Remote and Sixaxis controller, respectively. The Wii version will run in 480p, while the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions will run in full 1080p.

Sonic 4 will stay true to its roots, Balough assured. He said spin dash and power sneakers will be available in the game. The title's music will be "very familiar tempos and styles of music that resonates with 16-bit games but also has a modern appeal."

Now, before you run to Gamestop to preorder Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1, Sega has revealed that it will be available by download only on all three major consoles this summer. It has yet to announce a price or exact launch date.