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shdowhunt60

There Is An Entirely New Generation of Consoles Coming...

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... And Sonic Team has nothing to show for it.

This is the time in the industry when everyone should be strutting their stuff in anticipation for the next generation of consoles and what they provide. We knew about games like Halo Infinite YEARS in advance. And as much as THAT game's development appears to be a bit of a mess, and that its going to miss the launch window of the Series X, Microsoft understood that presenting and showing off the next gen Halo game was critical, because people are going to be buying the Series X specifically for it.

Even SEGA itself hasn't been quiet. It's doing what it usually does announcing new Persona launches, we even know about an upcoming Project Black that's going to be announced next week.

But Sonic Team has been completely silent.

Aside from the the 2020 initiative, which promised to release Sonic related news every month... Which really hasn't amounted to much outside reairing ad bumps for games that at this point are reaching several years old as well as merchandising, the only thing we've heard heard about the prospective upcoming Sonic title is that it's coming next year. And that bit of information we've heard was last year.

But if this thing is supposedly coming next year, and this is a huge multiyear project, are you telling me that right now, that Sonic Team can't show anything? We literally have a new generation of consoles coming in a matter of months, the whole world is passing Sonic by.

Earlier this year, we had Aaron Webber give us the reasoning that Sonic Team is taking its time to make sure the game is the best it could possibly be, but I have several issues with that. Firstly, the last Sonic Team game was Sonic Forces, and that was back in 2017. That was three years ago.

And secondly, the last Sonic Team was Sonic Forces, and that game freaking sucked. I know "Sonic has had a checkered past" is a tired and drawn out meme used by hacky games journalists, but Sonic Forces was one of the worst releases has ever seen in the history of the franchise. It was an unmitigated disaster from being devoid of content, what little content it had was severely lacking, and...

Thirdly, the last Sonic Team game was Sonic Forces. Not only was it a colossal disappointment on release, it was a colossal disappointment that was years in the making. Sonic Forces came out in 2017 which was already four years after 2013's Sonic Lost World, which already was a disappointment in and of itself.

So, I'm sorry Aaron. I'm sorry Sonic Team. Saying "you're taking your time" isn't a reassurance this time around when the last disasterpiece you released already had one of the longest development cycles of the franchise as it is.

And I want to come back to Halo again, because I often find it shocking the contrast between 343 Industries's and Microsoft's approach is in contrast to SEGA and Sonic Team's. Because 343's had quite a few rocky Halo release in its tenure of the franchise. Halo 5 launched in an incomplete state with outright missing content, and the MCC launched completely and utterly broken to the point of being unplayable.

But in contrast to SEGA and Sonic Team, who routinely abandons their failures and even some of their successes (I'm still mad at the absolute state of Team Sonic Racing, it deserved FAR more), 343 and Microsoft has been utterly committed to, over absolute years I might add, to fixing the issues with the MCC and Halo 5. Halo 5 is a substantially more complete game now than it was 5 years ago, and 343 has been hard at work trying to fix the longstanding issues with the MCC as well as fleshing out the content it has and launching it on a whole new platform.

And on top of that, 343 has been utterly transparent with the direction that it wants to take Halo, and Microsoft and 343 have been absolutely obstinate in their stance that they do not want to release Halo Infinite in the same state as Halo 5 and MCC.

I want to be clear. I don't hate Sonic Team. I've actually grown rather fond reading interviews, I think Iizuka himself seems like a really cool guy. I think there's a lot of really cool and talented people working at Sonic Team right now. I don't envy the position they're in right now, trying to revitalize a franchise that has spent the last decade in a meandering mire of uncertainty.

But it's pretty clear their attitude needs to change. Because this prolonged radio silence that's going into one of the most critical moments of the gaming industry, it's not helping them. Similarly, STOP ABANDONING YOUR GAMES. They deserve better. Sonic Forces could have been a good game if you guys just stuck with it. Team Sonic Racing had the potential to be absolutely fantastic.

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This is a whole lot of words to basically say "I'm kind of impatient".

Sonic Mania was the Sonic game to launch on the current generation of consoles and it happened at the tail-end of the generation. Same goes for Forces. Somehow I get the impression they're not really concerned about meeting an arbitrary deadline based on what the consoles are doing, and I can't really say I blame them. Sonic's not a Sony mascot or an Xbox mascot - he doesn't need to be there when the console launches, like some argued Halo did. 

You can argue the radio silence isn't helping them, but I don't think it's hurting them either. As much as people talk up "oh blast that Sonic Team, making us wait!", it's still all you people are gonna talk about when it eventually does drop anyway. Paper Mario: The Origami King's announcement came out of practically nowhere, and it was all people talked about for the rest of that day (irregardless of what they actually thought of it, in the short and long term); partially because it was such a surprise drop. 

Do you really need Sonic Team to come out and say "we don't want this one to suck"? Isn't that obvious? There's no actual difference between the ST and Halo approaches; the difference is Halo arguably showed itself too early and paid the price for it in being made a mockery of. The transparency from 343 is great and all, but it only came about because they dropped the ball. Sonic Team are arguably trying to skip the 'drop the ball' phase.

At this point, I wonder if people aren't after a game so much as they just want something to 'hype'. I've had people say "they should at least show a logo!" and I'm like... why? What would that actually do? We're gonna glean bugger all from a logo, especially if Team Sonic Racing's and the speculation surrounding that was anything to go by. It's just a desire for hype. 

(That and yadda yadda pandemic, yadda yadda not every company is the same, yadda yadda SEGA's finally learned they don't need to rely on constant Sonic for everything and that is a very good thing, yadda yadda play something else for the love of god etc)

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38 minutes ago, shdowhunt60 said:

I know "Sonic has had a checkered past" is a tired and drawn out meme used by hacky games journalists, but Sonic Forces was one of the worst releases has ever seen in the history of the franchise.

And here I thought it was a somewhat shittier retread of Generations that was mostly just ignored by the public.

 

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The actual most critically panned Sonic game was the result of forcing an arbitrary deadline on the developers to meet the X360/PS3 console launch that year. The most beloved Sonic game from that same generation came 5 years deep into that same lifecycle. Only a year before the Wii U would drop and kickstart the next generation. 

It's in everyone's best interest for the developers to just keep working on it until they feel it's ready. Just because Sonic Forces is a dud doesn't mean they should fall back on old habits that made for an even worse result. 

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5 minutes ago, Sean said:

There is a pandemic

Indeed.

2 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

This is a whole lot of words to basically say "I'm kind of impatient".

I mean, yeah, but it's not just me.

2 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

Sonic Mania was the Sonic game to launch on the current generation of consoles and it happened at the tail-end of the generation. Same goes for Forces. Somehow I get the impression they're not really concerned about meeting an arbitrary deadline based on what the consoles are doing, and I can't really say I blame them. Sonic's not a Sony mascot or an Xbox mascot - he doesn't need to be there when the console launches, like some argued Halo did. 

Both Mania and Forces launched in 2017, that wasn't really the tail end of the generation. Unless I guess you consider the PS4 Pro and One X to be a new generation (I personally don't).

2 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

You can argue the radio silence isn't helping them, but I don't think it's hurting them either. As much as people talk up "oh blast that Sonic Team, making us wait!", it's still all you people are gonna talk about when it eventually does drop anyway. Paper Mario: The Origami King's announcement came out of practically nowhere, and it was all people talked about for the rest of that day (irregardless of what they actually thought of it, in the short and long term); partially because it was such a surprise drop. 

And I guess that's a good counterpoint, but I'd argue that Sonic isn't really in a position to do that. We don't have a dearth of..

Mmm. I guess if you consider the the mobile games that we've been getting plus Team Sonic Racing that approach makes more sense, but not everyone plays the mobile games, and again... They just kinda threw out Team Sonic Racing and then completely abandoned it.

I'd be more willing to accept this approach if it was at least like it was leading up to Forces and Mania, where we at least had Sonic Boom in between. For better or for worse.

2 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

Do you really need Sonic Team to come out and say "we don't want this one to suck"? Isn't that obvious? There's no actual difference between the ST and Halo approaches; the difference is Halo arguably showed itself too early and paid the price for it in being made a mockery of. The transparency from 343 is great and all, but it only came about because they dropped the ball. Sonic Team are arguably trying to skip the 'drop the ball' phase.

I mean have they though? Forces was a pretty big ball to drop. They're well past that phase is what I'm arguing.

2 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

At this point, I wonder if people aren't after a game so much as they just want something to 'hype'. I've had people say "they should at least show a logo!" and I'm like... why? What would that actually do? We're gonna glean bugger all from a logo, especially if Team Sonic Racing's and the speculation surrounding that was anything to go by. It's just a desire for hype. 

(That and yadda yadda pandemic, yadda yadda not every company is the same, yadda yadda SEGA's finally learned they don't need to rely on constant Sonic for everything and that is a very good thing, yadda yadda play something else for the love of god etc)

They could at least give us something to go off of. Like for fucks sake, you just had a bunch of people leap on a Sonic Forces 2 leak, ignoring that Sonic Team hasn't done a numbered sequel to anything for almost 20 years now lmao.

I dunno, I guess I'm just frustrated, because I've been exceptionally happy with the direction Halo has been going towards the past couple years, and one of the other franchises I happen to feel passionately about seems to be stuck in an absolute mire that it at times seems unwilling to get itself out of.

I hope something is happening, I really do. But I'm not currently getting that indication, and what little SEGA and Sonic Team has been communicating so far hasn't really inspired all that much confidence.

2 minutes ago, Tornado said:

And here I thought it was a slightly shittier retread of Generations that was mostly just ignored by the public.

Oof. That's not how I remember it.

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12 minutes ago, shdowhunt60 said:

I mean, yeah, but it's not just me.

I am aware other people are impatient. That doesn't suddenly make it more rational.

13 minutes ago, shdowhunt60 said:

I mean, yeah, but it's not just me.

I'd argue Halo Infinite was a much bigger ball to drop, being one of the only worthwhile exclusives headlining a brand new console launch. Good will or not. As Wraith said, I'm not judging Sonic Team's next game until we actually see it, and if that takes a while? Totally fine.

13 minutes ago, shdowhunt60 said:

They could at least give us something to go off of.

Or maybe they can't. Maybe they have reason not to. And I don't mean the 'gotcha' moment of "oh so it still sucks after 3 years?", I mean maybe it's not at what they personally want to show off. 

I can't exactly blame them for wanting to show things on their own terms, when they think they're ready. Time isn't a guarantor of quality, sure, but rushing shit out to please impatient fans with a drop of hype isn't much better.

Say they drop a logo. That won't suddenly speed development of the game up. You'll still be waiting for something actually significant, and if anything it'd just make it worse. 

15 minutes ago, shdowhunt60 said:

Oof. That's not how I remember it.

Then maybe your memory is fuzzy. I don't like Forces, but critically speaking it did no worse than something like Unleashed or god forbid, 06. It was purely mediocre to those who hadn't spent the best part of a year hyping it up like crazy despite clear pre-release signs it was going to be pretty naff. 

18 minutes ago, shdowhunt60 said:

I dunno, I guess I'm just frustrated

The word is impatient. 

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7 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

I'd argue Halo Infinite was a much bigger ball to drop, being one of the only worthwhile exclusives headlining a brand new console launch. Good will or not. As Wraith said, I'm not judging Sonic Team's next game until we actually see it, and if that takes a while? Totally fine.

And like I said, I wish I had that confidence.

7 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

Or maybe they can't. Maybe they have reason not to. And I don't mean the 'gotcha' moment of "oh so it still sucks after 3 years?", I mean maybe it's not at what they personally want to show off. 

I just find that hard to believe. But maybe you're right.

7 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

I can't exactly blame them for wanting to show things on their own terms, when they think they're ready. Time isn't a guarantor of quality, sure, but rushing shit out to please impatient fans with a drop of hype isn't much better.

And I agree with that wholeheartedly, and who knows maybe what you're saying is right and something like Halo Infinite is what Sonic Team is trying to avoid. My particular bias is that, as rough as some aspects of Infinite did appear to be, I did genuinely like what 343 had to show of it. But clearly, I'm an outlier in that line of thinking.

7 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

Say they drop a logo. That won't suddenly speed development of the game up. You'll still be waiting for something actually significant, and if anything it'd just make it worse. 

To be clear, I don't want just a logo drop. I think that we can agree that's just about the worse form of announcement we could get.

I guess a better example would be with TSR, ironically enough. When we were first showed the game itself, it was pretty rough as well. It ran at pretty poor framerates, and looked pretty slow. I don't think the end product ended up all that much better. It ran smoothly enough, but had a myriad of graphical glitches, and was pretty vacuous in terms of actually having content.

But maybe you're right, and SEGA and Sonic Team are trying to avoid that kind of situation.

7 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

Then maybe your memory is fuzzy. I don't like Forces, but critically speaking it did no worse than something like Unleashed or god forbid, 06. It was purely mediocre to those who hadn't spent the best part of a year hyping it up like crazy despite clear pre-release signs it was going to be pretty naff. 

I don't think it did much worse critically, but the fan reception definitely was. At least Sonic Unleashed was able to establish some sort of cult following for it, but I think the fan reception for Forces ended up much worse.

7 minutes ago, Tracker_TD said:

The word is impatient. 

Its both to be honest.

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We're all Sonic fans here, we all want to see what's next for the series, but rushing some sneak preview isn't going to do any good. This is not a series or team that we have reason to trust at their word anymore, regardless of good intentions. If they want to reassure people that they can get things back on track, or at least into some workable shape, they're going to need to show us that in game form, not some early build or concept teaser with the promise that it'll be an actual worthwhile game once it's finished. And if they don't have that yet, then they don't have it, and getting worked up isn't going to change it.

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Games aren't obligated to be released at any time or for any console generation so long as the people who worked on them get the compensation they're owed. If that happens, releases will usually take care of themselves. The idea that Sonic needs to have "something to show for it" when console generations and even the differences between most consoles are completely arbitrary at this point.

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2 hours ago, Diogenes said:

We're all Sonic fans here, we all want to see what's next for the series, but rushing some sneak preview isn't going to do any good. This is not a series or team that we have reason to trust at their word anymore, regardless of good intentions. If they want to reassure people that they can get things back on track, or at least into some workable shape, they're going to need to show us that in game form, not some early build or concept teaser with the promise that it'll be an actual worthwhile game once it's finished. And if they don't have that yet, then they don't have it, and getting worked up isn't going to change it.

yeah, I agree with Dio here. now mind you, Sega, in fact, does have odds to their favor on this. they've been doin' pretty good on their own, having higher quality games with diverse genres, that others can enjoy instead of JUST sonic (that "my best idea ever" topic I made isn't canon anymore, so don't think about it). I'm not saying that they'll have no trouble making this sonic game, but they do have chances and odds that they might succeed. again, don't know the bigger picture here, so I may be dead wrong, but it could be right.

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23 minutes ago, Rabid-Coot said:

I'm expecting a 2021 Sonic to not be a next gen showcase anyway. It'll be somehing built around the PS4/XB1/Switch with PS5/XSX enhancements..

 

I'm willing to bet money it'll be cross gen.

I very much doubt they'll go full on next gen specs, especially given the pandemic situation.

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this is as balanced and insightful a thread on this subject as anyone could ask for!!  :wub: :)  I am not surprised, SSMB is simply a very good board, but still, well done everyone!!!

If i had to guess about an aspect not mentioned so far about why the next games haven't been announced or previewed yet is that, there is some higher than usual chance that the 3D game will be a soft or even medium reboot for the series!

Sonic Forces was simultaneously a unique creative peak of what they could create with the hybrid boost/generations template that also managed to complement, as opposed to making obsolete, all of the earlier games, and at least speculatively, the final coherent set of ideas for a boost/gens hybrid that wouldn't seem like they were not moving forward.  if anything, everyone who is working on the new games knows that while there is a wide range of potentials that will be exciting for many people, there are some that won't really be exciting at this point and so they will have chosen ideas that are genuinely exciting! 

I am not sure what any such reboot would be, but the likelihood of another boost game, at least in terms of level design, feels very low!  If they can find a new, compatible combination of level design and character movement and versatility, which generally is a prerequisite for actually going forward with a game concept, there are many, many amazing options!! 

To reveal something like this too soon, as others are suggesting, invites speculation and misinterpretation.  To comprehensively show the game in action the first time it is revealed is probably what they want to do!! 

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Well, this makes me realize that ST are trying Nintendo’s “once a generation” approach nowadays and are absolutely blowing it. All we got this generation was Forces as well as several Wii U exclusive oddities, one of which was panned completely. The reason Nintendo’s once per generation thing works isn’t literally because of it being once per generation. It’s because Nintendo spend those years in that generation doing something more meaningful than development of some lighting engine. 

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Even putting the current pandemic aside. Compared to the sixth-gen (GC/XB/PS2 baseline) and seventh-gen (360/PS3 BL) eras, where Sonic Team had already put out quite a few Sonic titles and could reasonably stand to move up to next-gen hardware; I envision that this time, Sonic Team opted to be comfortable sticking with eighth-gen (PS4/XBO BL) hardware for at least one more game.

Lost World and Forces stand as the only two Sonic games by Sonic Team made for the current generation of hardware; and even so, Forces stands as the studio's only Sonic game developed with the industry baseline in mind; as Lost World was developed as an exclusive for the notably-less powerful Wii U. So with that in mind I can envision Sonic Team not being too eager to jump into developing next-gen hardware after production on Forces wrapped.

I think this notion is supported by Forces' mixed results of enhanced performance for the more powerful PS4 Pro and Xbox One X. Xbox One X performance supported better resolution than base Xbox One (which was for some reason, only 720p...) on the whole, but it was rather inconsistent, with 1800p resolution used for some stages and 1080p resolution for others. And the PS4 Pro was practically identical to base PS4, with no resolution bumps whatsoever (although with that said, the PS4 version runs at 1080p and stands as the most consistent/most polished version of the lot). I think if Sonic Team were really committed towards showcasing the best possible performance for the game, they would had done more to accommodate for those mid-gen enthusiast platforms.

Most Sonic games I'd say have managed to cleanly segregate themselves with hardware generations; only a few titles (Sonic 3D, Unleashed, Riders ZG, ASRT), strike me as being "cross-gen" over the years. Even so, ASRT and Riders ZG were clearly cases where the Nintendo hardware they were released on both close enough in power to other platforms to make ports feasible, and Sonic 3D was only brought to the Saturn as a backup plan for X-treme's production falling out. As a result, I personally doubt the next game will be cross-gen, since that would naturally mean more SKUs to be developed when ST will likely already be working for four (PS4/XBO/NSW/PC); unless they got someone to port them to the newer consoles.

Speaking of which, that leads me to my final note: I think the most interesting question on this point would be if the Switch will be used as the hardware baseline for the next game, or if ST intend to develop primarily for PS4/XBO hardware. The Switch version of Forces came fairly late in production (since the game started development well before the Switch was announced/released), and it showed with its overall weaker performance and questionable stability in pre-release showings. If Sonic Team intends to bring the next Sonic game to the Switch, hopefully the hardware limitations have been considered earlier in production enough to either develop natively for the hardware, or have a really good port being handled by themselves or another team.

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So I really hope the silence about forthcoming Sonic games for consoles can only be a good thing.

As the new generation of consoles fast approach I have pre-ordered a PS5 which I had not originally planned to buy on the basis that I am expecting/hoping for a Sonic game being released on the console esp with the 30th anniversary coming up.

I imagine that any game that is currently in development is using the PS4/Xbox as the basis for it's release though I imagine there will be a next gen version of those games, my current assumptions are that Sega and Sonic Team are waiting to see how the new consoles do before deciding to reveal any further news about the next game.

Still plenty of time before the 2021 to start the anniversary "hype" wagon.

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On 8/28/2020 at 9:50 PM, shdowhunt60 said:

... And Sonic Team has nothing to show for it.

Not really a surprise. The one and only time (if I recall) when they scrambled to get out a Sonic game for the next generation of consoles was Sonic Adventure for the Dreamcast.

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Making a sequel puts them directly into competition with the IDW comics. And I don't get the impression the writers for the games are going to bother working around that. Not to mention It'd be a miracle whrn the game writers would ever bother to clean up their mess to begin with. So nah, I doubt it.

That said, I would be interested in seeing them explain what happened with Infinite and Eggman at the end of Forces. But I'm pretty sure it'll be ignored, just like Eggman being stranded in limbo at the end of Generations. The games really don't care about creating any kind of cohesive narrative between games, other then brainlessly chucking old characters and locations into the new ones.

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