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Sonic the Hedgehog 4 Episode 1 now out on iPhone

I've been away at GDC Online this week, so I almost missed it, but a brand new Sonic the Hedgehog game (that Sega is calling part 4, Episode 1) is out now for the iPhone. This is a pretty big deal -- not only is this a brand new title in the Sonic series, but it's also not coming out for other consoles until next week, so Sega has actually premiered this game on Apple's iOS platform. Early reviews on the game are terrific. It's a 3D title that plays from a 2D angle, so this is old-school Sonic platforming with brand new levels, graphics, sounds, and music. Plus, there are two exclusive levels on the iPhone and iPod touch, so Apple is really getting some love from Sega here.

Of course, this is being labeled as a premium title, so the price of US$9.99 on the iPhone-only version might provide a little sticker shock for players used to cheaper games. Still, the title is selling for five dollars more on other platforms, so when you consider that you're getting this game early, as a native title, with exclusive content, the $10 price is about as justified as it's going to get.

But even if you don't go for the purchase, this will definitely be one to watch. The app's currently number 3 on top grossing and number 11 on the top paid apps list, but a huge success here will mean a lot for both Sega's and other large publishers' strategies on the App Store going forward.

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