What you’ll see is a rare video showcasing the original Sonic DS Tech Demo that was shown off at E3 2004 as a means of demonstrating the system’s graphical capabilities and potential uses of the bottom touch screen. The footage shows the full level with the direct-feed audio intact (with a bit of background noise).
Some of you may remember a long time ago at E3 2004, the Nintendo DS was fully announced and shown off for the very first time. On display at the live conference was mostly just Super Mario 64×4 (later renamed Super Mario 64 DS) and Metroid Prime Hunters.
But Sonic himself did make an appearance on the show floor. Sonic Rush, which eventually came out at the end of 2005, would not be unveiled until the following year at E3 2005. Instead, what was shown was a full 3D-rendered tech demo featuring Sonic in a small-scale Seaside Hill Zone from Sonic Heroes.
The demo had very limited gameplay featured, all you did was just move your finger (or stylus) back and forth on the bottom screen to make Sonic move faster and faster. Sonic’s movement was automatic otherwise and he would move in a single direction around the island collecting some rings. You could also jump, and change the camera angle by pressing certain icons on the bottom screen. The goal was to just make it to the goal as quickly as possible.
The demo featured here never materialized into a full game. However, evidence was seen that at the very least the demo lived on in a very small scale, more of a reference than anything in the Wii game Sonic and the Secret Rings. At E3 2006 when Sonic and the Secret Rings was first unveiled (then known as Sonic Wild Fire), the Sand Oasis stage in the demo featured an alternate ending sequence where Sonic does a running thumbs up that’s very identical to the same animation shown at the end of the Sonic DS demo. You can see a video of the Sonic Wild Fire demo below:
And that’s the end of the story of Sonic DS. It wasn’t destined to be a full game. It gave fans a look at how a potential 3D Sonic game on the DS might’ve looked, but alas, it never happened. Instead Sega released Sonic Rush in 2005, followed by Sonic Rush Adventure in 2007, and finally Sonic Colors DS in 2010. All were developed alongside Dimps of the Sonic Advance trilogy, and all were 2D games. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this look at an obscure piece of Sonic history. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Via the E3 Access 2004: The Future Of Video Games DVD (Sonic DS portion uploaded by ThoseOtherguys PT).