Sonic the Hedgehog fans, rejoice! (Or tremble in fear.) Sonic the Hedgehog 4: Episode 1 has an official launch date and price. Your favorite blue, sneaker-clad, ring-toting hero will touch down on Xbox Live Arcade on October 13th for 1200 Microsoft Points.

Sega has promised that Sonic 4 will bring the series back to its roots, hoping that gamers will forget the previous 10+ years of bad spin-offs—no pun intended. The game features old-school sidescrolling platform action and 2D sprites to bring back that classic Sonic flavor. Sonic is the only playable character that has been announced so far, but our fingers are crossed for more…

Sonic 4 has also been announced for iPhone/iPod, PSN, and Wii, supporting motion control on the latter two platforms. On XBLA and PSN, you’ll have the ability to play the game in full 1080p. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait a couple extra days for the Xbox version:

  • iTunes App Store: October 7
  • Wii Shop Channel: October 11, 1500 Wii Points (Oct. 15 EMEA)
  • PlayStation Network: October 12, $14.99 / £9.99 / €12.99 (Oct. 13 EMEA)
  • Xbox Live Arcade: October 13, 1200 MSP

Much has been made of the choice to release the game episodically and of the $15 price point. We have no doubt that fans of the series will flock to purchase the game, but we’re not sure how many casual fans will be willing to shell out $15 per episode, with no idea of when the next episode will be released or whether all episodes will eventually be made available in a discounted bundle. Plus there’s the fact that a truly great Sonic game hasn’t been released since 1994…1

But we like to be optimistic until proven wrong. So, slip on your power sneakers and get ready to grab some chaos emeralds. Check out the gallery below or the official Sonic the Hedgehog 4 site for a peak at the game.

Via Joystiq

1 Pipe down, Dreamcast fans.