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Sonic 4 delayed until autumn

Super sub-Sonic

Side-scrolling sequel Sonic the Hedgehog 4 won't be out this summer as originally planned, but will debut before the year is out promises publisher Sega.

The much anticipated attempt at capturing the classic vibe of Sonic the Hedgehog past is taking longer than expected to develop, forcing Sega to push the release back from July to a vague late 2010.

Episode 1 of the downloadable series will be available in the closing months of this year on Xbox Live, PlayStation Network, and WiiWare. iPhone and iPod touch have been added to the mix, lending support to the decision to delay the game's release.

Sega has not announced when future episodes will be made available, though it's expected that they will be offered within 2-3 months of each other.