Sonic leads latest iTunes games wave

Sega ports original Genesis adventure of its emblematic hedgehog to Apple's multimedia service; PopCap's Peggle also available.

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Last fall, Namco's Pac-Man led the first wave of games to be released on iTunes. Today, another iconic game character--Sonic the Hedgehog--headlined the latest batch of games to be released on the service.

Like other games, Sonic the Hedgehog will cost $4.99--the standard price set by Apple--and will be playable on all iPods that support video, including the new Nano. However, unlike other iPod games, this is a port of the Sega Genesis original, and marks the first time a console game has been rejiggered for the iPod.

Sega president Simon Jeffery told GameSpot that Sega had listened to criticism of previous iPod games, and designed a two-tiered control scheme--one for two-handed play, and a one-handed scheme for "players on the go." He also said that the game had been in the works for some time, following extensive talks between Sega and Apple, which is notoriously choosy when it comes to selecting games for iTunes.

"Apple is very keen on the Sonic franchise, as Sonic is one of the most iconic game characters of all time," said Jeffery. "They're looking for games that appeal to as wide an audience as possible."

In addition to Sonic, today also saw the casual game publisher release Peggle for the iPod and Macintosh. Previously released on the PC, both versions of the game feature the two-player duel mode, 55 levels, 10 magical powers, and 75 Grand Master challenges featured in the original title. The iPod edition lets players listen to their own playlists while playing the game.

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