Happy 20th Birthday to Sonic the Hedgehog

Our favorite hedgehog is having a birthday today. Check out how he’s celebrating after the jump.

SEGA® Europe Ltd. and SEGA® of America, Inc. are excited to continue the celebrations for their company mascot with an exclusive 20 day downloadable demo available from Sonic’s 20th Anniversary itself, June 23, 2011. After a successful E3 and huge Sonic Boom community event in Los Angeles, SEGA are thrilled to announce that the Sonic Generations™ demo will be available to download and play for a 20 day period via Xbox LIVE® Arcade for the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft, as well as the PlayStation®Network.

This unique 20 day demo gives fans the chance to sample the most iconic environment of all Sonic the Hedgehog™ titles, Green Hill. The level from the upcoming Sonic Generations has been redesigned in stunning high definition and will be available for download in all its Classic Sonic side-scrolling glory and is also playable in stereoscopic 3D.

Sonic Generations will be the jewel in the crown for Sonic’s 20th Anniversary celebrations this year. Since the first day of the release of Sonic The Hedgehog™ back in 1991 on the SEGA Genesis™, SEGA has sold over 70 million Sonic the Hedgehoggames worldwide and Sonic has appeared in four animated TV series. SEGA’s blue hedgehog has also starred in his own line of comics and been officially declared by the book of Guinness World Records as the fasted video game character of all time. It is estimated that a staggering 70 billion rings have been collected during Sonic’s 20 years of gaming!

Sonic the Hedgehog will also fly once again at the 85th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade®. On Thursday, November 24th, Sonic will defy gravity and soar as a giant helium balloon in the famed spectacular in celebration of his 20th Anniversary. A trailblazer from the start, Sonic in 1993, made his debut as the first-ever video game character to appear in the heralded march down the streets of Manhattan. Over the past 20 years, Sonic has evolved as one of gaming’s greatest icons, with his blue body and unforgettable spikes being recognized worldwide as a symbol of speed, adventure and fun.

On Thanksgiving, the Sonic balloon will sky rocket into the atmosphere with massive blue spikes, his signature white gloves and red shoes, shining in the sun. For his parade return, Sonic will measure approximately 48-feet tall, 60-feet long, and 26-feet wide, solidifying his presence, once again, as a historic character in the 2011 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade line-up.

“Sonic the Hedgehog was a Macy’s Parade trailblazer when he burst into the line-up, becoming the first-ever video game character to fly in our annual march,” said Amy Kule, executive producer of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. “Sonic continues to be a worldwide phenomenon and we are thrilled that this Thanksgiving his distinctive blue spikes will be seen zooming down the route once more, as part of his 20th birthday celebrations.”

“The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade is a celebration of the most famous faces and characters in our culture, so it was a simple decision to bring Sonic back to the parade to celebrate his 20th anniversary in great company,” says Judy Gilbertson, Senior Brand Manager, SEGA of America. “It will be a thrill for Sonic fans young and old to see the balloon this Thanksgiving.”

Alongside his parade return, Sonic’s highly anticipated new title, Sonic Generations, will be released this holiday season,commemorating Sonic the Hedgehog’s 20thanniversary.

Sonic Generations features Sonic the Hedgehog playable as both the much loved classic 1991 character and the modern day video game hero he has become. In this exciting new fast paced adventure set across three defining eras from 20 years of Sonic the Hedgehog, you can now speed through some of the most iconic environments, playing as Classic Sonic in re-imagined 2D side scrolling levels and as Modern Sonic in all new, stunning 3D levels.Sonic Generations will be available this holiday season for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system, the Xbox 360® video game and entertainment system from Microsoft and Nintendo 3DS™.

The 85th Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade airs nationwide on NBC-TV, Thursday, November 24, 2011 from 9:00 am – Noon, in all time zones.

Sonic the Hedgehog, a brief history:

  • 1991-Present: SEGA has sold more than 70 million Sonic the Hedgehog games worldwide, appearing in more than 130 releases across multiple consoles
  • 1991-Present: Has appeared on hundreds of children’s products ranging from lunch boxes to Valentine’s Day cards 1993: Sonic first appeared in his first of four television shows, Adventures of Sonic The Hedgehog
  • 1993: Archie comics debuted the Sonic the Hedgehog comic book series
  • 1993: Sonic the Hedgehog makes his debut in the Macy’s Day Parade as the first video game character balloon
  • 1999: Sonic Adventure debuts on the Dreamcast console
  • 2011: Sonic Generations, the upcoming video game release that Sonic fans old and new will enjoy, was created in celebration of Sonic’s 20th Anniversary, featuring both the classic and modern day Sonic, as well as, levels inspired by his 20 years of titles.