Ahead of the release of Sonic Origins, Sega is delisting many Sonic the Hedgehog games on various platforms. Sega has confirmed that every game set to feature in Sonic Origins will be removed from online stores on May 20th. The standalone versions of Sonic the Hedgehog 1 and 2, Sonic 3 & Knuckles, and Sonic CD will all be leaving. The exception to this is Sonic 1 and 2 on the Nintendo Switch in the Sega Ages collections. Also, Sonic 2 on the Nintendo Switch Online service will stick around.
These releases are spread across many different consoles and platforms like Steam, Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and mobile. The 3D versions on 3DS are particularly hard to track down, and to play them after this, you’ll need a physical cartridge of the Sega 3D Classics Collection or the Japanese release of Sega 3D Fukkoku Archives 3: Final Stage.
Through all of that, the only place you’ll be able to pick these games up in the future, other than physical releases, is the new Sonic Origins collection. It releases in stores and online on June 23rd, 2022. The collection retails for $40.00.
This raises a question about video game preservation and what that means today. There are unique versions of Sonic 1 and 2 that could get lost to time, like the remakes from Christian Whitehead or the 3D versions. The mobile versions are leaving, but there’s no release of Sonic Origins planned for mobile formats. At least we still have the physical releases and collections that are out there. But video game preservation is a huge issue, especially with physical formats that degrade over time like the Sega Saturn.
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