Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 races to PSN

PlayStation Store Update: Sega's 2D blue blur revival hits download hub next to Dead Space Ignition; PSOne Classics welcome Arc the Lad, Alundra.

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No Caption Provided Sony's virtual storefront this week expands with numerous new additions, including the newest entry in the Sonic series, a downloadable prequel to Dead Space 2, two new PSOne titles, three demos, and more.

Leading the charge is Sega's Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 ($15). The title is available today to download and casts players as the legendary blue blur, zipping, zooming, and collecting coins around all-new 2D environments. The title picks up right where Sonic and Knuckles left off and tasks players with defeating Dr. Eggman's most devious schemes. The title was first announced in 2009 as Project Needlemouse and was scheduled to arrive this summer before suffering a delay.

Sonic is even more of a blur in HD.
Sonic is even more of a blur in HD.

Also now available for the PS3 is Dead Space Ignition ($5). A prequel to Dead Space 2, Ignition follows tech wizard Franco Delisle in the hours before the space station known as The Sprawl is beset by a necromorph infestation. The game's story was penned by Antony Johnston, who previously told stories in the Dead Space universe with a six-issue comic series released in 2008.

Dead Space Ignition is composed of three hacking minigames: Hardware Crack, Trace Route, and System Override. The title will play out like a Choose Your Own Adventure story, where players determine their fate by choosing from various plotlines. There are four distinct endings players can reach, but they can play only as Delisle.

Gamers looking to the past for enjoyment can download two new PSOne Classics today, the first of which is Arc the Lad ($6). From G-Craft, the tactical role-playing game first published in 1995 casts players as Arc and tasks them with teaming up with allies and fighting through multiple dungeons.

The other PSOne Classic now available is Alundra ($6). From Matrix Software, the action adventure game was first released in 1997. The title thrusts players into the boots of Alundra, a warrior adventurer who explores dungeons, solves puzzles, and defeats monsters on his way to saving a doomed village.

Switching to the PSP storefront, Sony welcomes two new wares to its store today, the first of which is NBA 2K11 ($20). From 2K Sports, the basketball installment's main draw is its inclusion of legendary superstar Michael Jordan, who is a playable character.

Kaka, in the palm of your hands.
Kaka, in the palm of your hands.

The other PSP title now available is FIFA Soccer 11 ($40). From EA Sports, the latest footie sim lets players take to the pitch with their favorite squad and pass, shoot, and score in arenas like the esteemed Old Trafford, the home of perennial powerhouse Manchester United.

On the demo front, Sony added three new samplers to its virtual storefront this week. They include trials for the already available Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 and Dead Space Ignition, as well as Star Wars: The Force Unleashed II, which will be released on October 26.

One mini made its way to the virtual storefront today. The action role-playing game Zenonia ($6.99) is now available to download. The single-player role-playing game casts players as Regret, a man on a quest to learn why a demon killed his father. As is standard fare for role-playing games, Zenonia lets players choose a class at the onset of the game (paladin, warrior, or assassin) and equip their player with "hundreds" of possible weapon and armor combinations. Further, the title sports a full day/night cycle, as well as skill trees to round out its RPG elements.

For the music gamer, new tunes are now available in the Rock Band and Def Jam Rapstar stores. Rock Band welcomes Jimi Hendrix's entire Are You Experienced? album, which includes "Purple Haze," "Foxy Lady," a live version of "Hey Joe," and more. Def Jam Rapstar adds Luni's "I Got Five On It," The Pharcyde's "Passin' Me By," Chamillionaire's "Ridin," and New Boyz's "You're a Jerk."

A full list of the week's deals and new PlayStation Store content, including themes, wallpapers, demos, discounts, and add-on content, is available on the PlayStation Blog.

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