E3 06: Sega's booth goes Super Sonic

Sega's prickly mascot appears in two new games, and the hyper-real martial artists of Virtual Fighter 5 pack in the fans.

LOS ANGELES--Sega's booth this year boasts a bevy of gorgeous titles for all three next-gen systems, and almost all are playable. Fittingly, the first thing you see when approaching the booth is three larger-than-life hedgehog statues in blue, black, and white: Sonic, Shadow, and their new comrade from the next-gen Sonic the Hedgehog game, which is playable here on both the Xbox 360 and the PlayStation 3.

Sega devoted quite a few demo kiosks to Sonic, which drew large lines. Sonic Rivals for PSP is next to its next-gen big brother, and anyone that plays either of the Sonic games on offer receives a T-shirt emblazoned with "Sonic the Hedgehog: 15th Anniversary," a nice tribute to this classic franchise, which first launched for the Genesis in 1991.

One of the other big draws here is Virtua Fighter 5. Though the game is coming to the PS3, it was only present in its arcade incarnation. Two units are set up back-to-back, linked up for head-to-head fighting, and there's a line of people waiting to try out the slick moves on the latest installment in Sega's iconic fighter series. There are some fiercely lopsided matches--Sega's E3 booth is definitely not the place to learn to play this game.

There is a lot of eye candy in Sega's booth. The Chromehounds demo for the 360 is set up for four-on-four team play, and as mech after mech dies a fiery death onscreen, lots of furrowed brows and fierce concentration on the new, unfamiliar game can be seen. Full Auto 2 for the PS3 is also available, and it's drawing a healthy group of gamers with its head-to-head auto combat.

Sega is displaying just one PC game, but it's one of the more anticipated titles for the platform. A life-size statue of a mounted knight draws attention to the Medieval II: Total War section of the booth, where there are playable demos of the latest installment in the award-winning RTS series.

Though its history isn't as long as Sonic's, Super Monkey Ball is almost as recognizable, and the latest additions to the series are on display here. Super Monkey Ball Adventure is playable for the PS2, PSP, and the GameCube, and a gameplay video of Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz for the Wii is playing on a large, prominently displayed flat panel. It would be nice to have a playable demo as well, but Nintendo has kept a tight leash on its new console. The only way for showgoers to get their hands on a Wii is to wait in the gargantuan line at the Nintendo booth.

Sega has a long history of sports titles, and that heritage continues here, with soccer, tennis, and pool titles all on display. Virtua Tennis 3 is playable for the PS3, while World Pool Championships, a pool sim for the Xbox 360, and Let's Make a Soccer Team, a soccer club management sim, are close by.

Sega's games for current-generation consoles are receiving markedly less attention than its next-gen offerings. Though the already-released Japanese version received positive reviews, Yakuza for the PS2 is drawing few showgoers to its gritty action gameplay. Also, despite its hallowed ancestry, Phantasy Star Universe is also going relatively unnoticed.

For a gamer, one of the best parts of this booth is actually not a game: it's the glass case of merchandise and memorabilia by the side of the booth's reception desk. After all, what gamer wouldn't want a stuffed Sonic to call their own?

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Discussion

67 comments
Shadow99g
Shadow99g

Man I like sonics new look, speed, powers and more!

Boonyaw
Boonyaw

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

Boonyaw
Boonyaw

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

ABISPY
ABISPY

YA GOO SONIC MORE AWESOME GAMES , cant wait to play you on PS3 ;)

ArgosaxArius
ArgosaxArius

wow sonic is very fast when he is 15 years old.very fast.

Gleba2388
Gleba2388

Sonic is awesome! His new game for the PS3 and X360 will surelly rock!

SocaWarrior
SocaWarrior

SOnic is da isht.. Thats my "hardcore gamer" game.

PelekotansDream
PelekotansDream

I was simply going to buy Wii but this new Sonic game is going to make me get a 360 also, can't wait for Sonic!

DrDomDom
DrDomDom

still doesnt compare to the sonic i loved from the megadrive/genesis.

gametester1424
gametester1424

I'm been a Sega fan over the years. It was sad to see the shake-up of all the great development talent after the fall of the Dreamcast. But it finally seems like they have their feet on the ground and are running a super-sonic speeds again. Good luck Sega and great E3 presence....oh yeah and bring on more of the old school classics. You know you want to make a Wii version of Nights and a final installment of Shenmue would be great too!

gamepunk86
gamepunk86

man, sonic is awesome. he was the first badass of videogaming

passentry
passentry

I hope Hyper Sonic (for Wii) is awesome..

magnakong
magnakong

Hopefully SuperSonic will be better.

markbridges
markbridges

I hope the gameplay in this "new" Sonic involves intuitive controls and and much improved camera. And lets keep the focus on Sonic; we don't need a new character with each new game. (Which they did...) None of those shooting or emerald hunting levels. Those are so lame and boring. -- Hopeful fan of Sonic --

ewjim
ewjim

I don't like graphics of Sonic on next-gen systems... Yet... But maybe they fix it? Who knows...

chaos386
chaos386

I DO have a stuffed Sonic to call my own! :D

budlongmv
budlongmv

Phantasy Star Universe was stuck in a far empty corner of the Sega booth, and the 360 version was too early to be playable at E3. That's why less people played it. If it was put closer to the center of Sega's booth, then more people would have played it. I thought the game was coming along nicely.

rockettmann
rockettmann

I can't believe the lack of attention to Phantasy Star Universe. I blame Sega for not hyping it up as much as it should. But Sonic just looks AMAZING. This is just one of the titles that's going to drive me into getting a 360. Sorry Sony I dont got $500 to drop on a console.

budlongmv
budlongmv

I went to E3 Wednesday, Played the new Sonic game on both PS3 and 360. The game is the best 3D Sonic ever! The new character has a steep learning curve but once you get use to it, its actually one of the best Sonic characters to play in years! Sega did really good at this years E3!!!

Sonic_Freak87
Sonic_Freak87

woohoo, go sega! keep the awesome sonic titles and awesome games coming!

gojiguy
gojiguy

Where is Sonic wildfire? where is Sonic Rush 2? where is ANY support of nintendo systems... a tad dissapointing. sonic and friends better appear in Smash Bros or I'll be worried about SEGAs next-gen support. a lot of good games seem to be heading to 360 and PS3 which is good but where is the REST of the support? come on SEGA, deliver.

2ratchet
2ratchet

to bad i can't go to E3 this year

C_Blade
C_Blade

Yeah another road rash would be great, but as for these sonics, to me they seem to be getting worse, sometimes I actually kind of miss the 2D world...

playwrite
playwrite

I want 2D sonic on the Wii. not the genesis games (i allready own those), i mean like Super Paper Mario, but with sonic. come on guys, you know you want to. sonic on the Wii will still be cool though.

IcemanX5
IcemanX5

I think is nice to see another Sonic game and hope is better than the rest but Sega, how about remakes or new games of old school hits like Street of Rage, Nights, Panzer Dragoon, etc..... We know Golden Axe is coming but what about the rest?

EvanO_O
EvanO_O

Sonic looks great on the 360.

vu12345678
vu12345678

virtua fighter 5! I've been waiting so long

game_masta14
game_masta14

Sonic looks real and he's ready to kick some Eggman @#$.

BloodMist
BloodMist

Comthitnuong, you are a heathen, heathen i say!!!Sonic was only really good on the Genesis.Hopefully that will finally change.

SHEATH013
SHEATH013

Sonic Adventure was one of the best games in the series, Sonic Adventure 2 started the long descent to appease public opinion. Hopefully this new Sonic will be as huge of a leap over anything else out there today as Sonic Adventure was in 1999, and is today. If I hated every game I had to play a lot to get good at, I'd hate a lot of great games. Scott

i_love_my_ds
i_love_my_ds

looks like a great line-up of games to me

Mindphaser
Mindphaser

Put VF5 and Tekken 5 on the 360!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FuguNabe
FuguNabe

OMG I want to play Virtua Fighters 5 so much and sonice looks cool too... Sega's back to making some sweet games.... *dies*

S_Pac_316
S_Pac_316

Sega is still an awesome developer. I hope the new Sonic game will be good.

bison_tuesday
bison_tuesday

Im all for a new Sonic game, have been a fan since way back when - I just hope that the new next gen title has a focus on running around really fast - as opposed to a diluted approach (sonic adventure 2). Am rather worried about the footage of shadow driving around in a jeep (in the trailer)...

ddkwon
ddkwon

Was Crazy Taxi a sega game? I'd love to see a next gen iteration. Also, I've heard rumors of a Shen Mue3... who wants to find some more sssssailors?

splitervenom
splitervenom

bow down to sonic and everything related to sega one of the longest and most successfull franchises in gaming history because it shows no signs of stopping any time soon. hail to the hegehog

doomsoth
doomsoth

Sonic was great back in the day, but Sega has gone down hill over the years.

Humunclous
Humunclous

jus like my sig says sonic > Mario im positive that all of his games will be an incredible success

ImaCarrot
ImaCarrot

Too bad they aren't showing all of their games in development, we're missing some good ones.

UMCP
UMCP

Virtua fighter 5 is only for ps3! haha, xbox 360 fans what now?

ungivenglory
ungivenglory

Sonic games.. no matter if its the original for genesis, dr. robotniks mean bean machine, or sonic adventure, ALL are amazing. One of videogame's best franchises.

paradyme777
paradyme777

I'm actually really interested in this new Sonic game coming out it looks pretty entertaining.