E3 2010: Eyes on Sonic 4 for iPhone UPDATED

E3 2010: Eyes on Sonic 4 for iPhone UPDATED

I found a new video with Sonic’s idle animation and a nice video coutrtesy of slidetoplay.com

Around the Sonic 4 area of the Sega booth, we found a Sega rep showing off the iPhone version of Sonic 4. The first thing he showed us was Splash Hill: Act 3 in virtual D-Pad mode.  He says this particular D-pad works much better and is more advanced than the one used in Sonic 1 & 2. It apparently doesn’t have any kind of “Slip-off” if your fingers slide away from the D-Pad area. The virtual jump button was on the bottom right of the screen and performed like it should. It looked like it would play pretty much the same as the console versions in this form.


The other control form he showed us was a much more arcade-like “Tilt Mode.”   In Act 2, he controlled Sonic by tilting the iPhone left and right and made him come to a complete stop by having it level. Also, you make Sonic jump by tapping anywhere on the screen. This motion control also makes it a different experience on certain obstacles. For example, when he got to the jungle vines, he had to swing the iPhone back and forth for momentum on the vine before jumping off. One thing I found very odd, however, was the way to perform the spin dash. Simply put, you tap Sonic himself. This means you have to tilt with one hand and tap him with your finger completely blocking your view.  Hopefully, they change this function for the final version.

One last thing to report on is the graphics. Currently, the game runs at 30fps. That’s half of what the 360 and Wii versions run.  It’s a smaller, less powerful system, so that’s to be expected. One thing I really like is when Sonic runs on loop-de-loops. The entire screen loops around with him. This feature would be dizzying on a larger console version, but here, it looks cool.  One awesome thing that he showed us (that wasn’t shown to many people on the floor) was Sonic’s exclusive idle animation. When bored, Sonic whips out an iPod and holds it to his ear, tapping his foot and snapping his fingers to the music.  Talk about your “Sonic Jam”.


The iPhone version of Sonic 4 looks like it will offer a unique experience that will help separate it from its console brethren. If you have an iPhone or iPod touch, check it out when it arrives this fall.

Thanks to Reno4 and slidetoplay.com for the youtube videos.


  1. Sounds good to me, but this game won’t make me buy a iPhone.
    Btw you only mentioned 60 fps only for Wii and 360.
    Do you just don’t know if the PS3 has also 60 fps or do you know it actually doesn’t.

  2. It looks pretty cool, but it’s on a non-natively gaming-orientated platform and – let’s face it – despite the special exclusive features, isn’t the version that most of us are going to buy.

  3. @ Eggman123
    I hear the PS3 version wasn’t at SEGA’s booth while the Wii and Xbox 360 versions were so I assume Jason is referring to his fps experience with those 2 versions so he can’t comment on the PS3 version.

  4. @Shadzter

    Bingo. I can’t talk about something I didn’t see. This one seems to be coming along pretty good. Plus, Sonic 4 feels more like a portable game. I may end up getting both console and iPhone versions.

  5. I noticed that the game rotates in the iPhone version as opposed to the console versions. Is this a difference? I also know that this version will have a few things that the others don’t have (i.e. Mine Cart level).

  6. I don’t know about Jason or the guy showing the game to him, but when I play an iPhone app that requires tilting in a horizontal mode, I always hold the iPhone with BOTH of my hands to tilt it, and do any clicks with my thumbs. So it wouldn’t really block my view much while I spin-dash.

  7. Hmm… I’m iffy on the screen spinning when you run around the loop. A little out of place if you ask me.

    I’m totally getting this for iPhone as well as PS3. Why not? 😀

  8. I’ll definetly be getting both versions of Sonic 4. Although I can’t decide wether I should get the console version on the Wii or the PS3, too bad the PS3 wasn’t at E3.

  9. Zer0Star, I would suggest you wait a day or two when the game gets released, there should be videos of the PS3 Version on YouTube by then, you can probably also ask the peeps who put up the video by sending them a message then. But I´m sure the PS3 Version will run just as smooth as the Wii and 360 version! 🙂
    If I were you, I wouldn´t be worried about that! 🙂

  10. Ha, an idle animation similar to Ristar is awwwright in my book.

    Still, kinda bummed that there’s apparently no idle animation in the 360/Wii/PS3 versions. Hopefully they’ll add that in soon.

  11. @Sapphire

    Yeah, I’m not sold on the whole screen-spinning-with-you schtick either.

    Talk about /head-spinning/!

    Tails: “Hey that’s my line!”
    Sonic: >_>

  12. That’s wierd! Several months ago, I was talking with a friend about iPhone games, and I said, ” Wouldn’t it be awesome if they made a(ground-up, non-port) iPhone Sonic game? You could make him spindash buy tapping him!” Wierd coincidence….

    *Goes and buys iPod Touch*

  13. ughhhhhhh “shrugs” sonic so UGLY tapping his foot like an idiot worse then the sonic 3D Blast Model and creepy

  14. when i heard this from you coverage days ago i actually imagined the classic sonic sprite wawing his finger while listening to Ipod and i still have the image clear in my head but modern soni justin that video thater with the ipod seems so ugly

  15. I like how the music when you get the speed shoes actually differs a tiny bit in beat from the actual music rather than just being a sped up version of it.
    But I’m still pretty concerned about the boss music. Not that I’m complaining, because as long as the game plays nicely I won’t give a darn, but it sounds more like a slow carnival esque type thing rather than the sinister and catchy tunes in the first, second and third games.
    Oh well, the animation of Sonic with the ipod looks adorable and I love it. C:

  16. The boss music was originally going to be in Sonic 3D Blast but was cut.

  17. @TheHumbleFellow

    I see him break dancing while shouting: “C’MON, STEP IT UP!”

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