pagelogoA while ago we were let in on a secret project in the works by iPhone developer Christian Whitehead. He is responsible for the iPhone Retro Engine and Retro Engine Development Kit or RDSK. Using the RDSK, Whitehead is able to develop classic 2D games in a fraction of the time it would take to build them from scratch with performance levels that literally blow the games Sega has released so far out of the water.

He built this Sonic CD proof of concept, without the use of the original game's source code or a disassembly. The video is really impressive and shows Sonic CD running at 60 frames per second on an iPod Touch.

Whitehead has actually been in contact with Sega regarding doing an enhanced port of Sonic CD for the iPhone, but Sega's challenge to their fans to come up with what they want to see them produce next has pushed the developer into making this project public.

If this is what you want Sega to release next, let them know. For more information on this remarkable Sonic CD port, check out the thread in our forums.

  • Pachi

    This is the best version of sonic..

  • Future777

    This Retro Engine kicks ass. Very impressive.

  • rich_952000

    The video looks good. It's interesting that independants are doing these games better than Sega.

  • lol

    1 smart dude > bunch of devolopers

    • mike

      wait, he's ripping Sega's work, right? so... he didn't really do it himself...

  • russiaone

    I'll say it again: "Sega doesn't listen to it's fans..."

    Shadow the Hedgehog anyone? No? How about Werehogs?

  • i heart sonic

    Yeah Sega! Do it now!

  • Thomas

    Sega - I'm begging you, bring this as a free upgrade to the existing Sonic.

  • Matejay


  • Mikhail

    LOL - one dude made all sega's "developers" look like idiots 🙂

  • Seb

    Lets not forget the pioneers of the original code for the Sonic games, but yeah I agree - Sega's own modern devs can't hold a candle to this guy's efforts in porting to iPhone, etc. Just compare this with Streets of Rage on the 3GS running at less than 20 frames per second...maybe slower!

  • Alex

    Sega, this guy owns your collective ass.

    If you don't endorse this game and get it released, then hire him for your iPhone team before someone else does you're nuts!

  • Humz

    Hey Sega....

    please bring out a proper ported version of the Sega games, otherwise dont bother coz you are maiking the old classic games feel and look crap. Bring out the Sonic CD its the best Sega Classic conversion so far.

  • Dekon

    finally, a sonic game made how it's supposed to be for the iphone.
    Sega, you could learn from this guy and stop adding crappy ports to the appstore (streets of rage for example).

  • ataru

    Great stuff. Sonic CD is the best version of Sonic ever made (as long as it's the JP or EU version, not the US version with a hideous replacement soundtrack).

    Just goes to show how spectacularly lazy Sega's own efforts have been so far. If they had half a brain cell left they'd employ this indie dev and put him to work on doing proper conversions of Genesis/Mega Drive and SEGA CD/Mega CD classics.


  • mjbreese

    Sega needs to hire this guy and then fire everyone who worked on the port of Streets of Rage (Shame on you Sega) This guy has just proven beyond any shadow of a doubt that the reason we are getting crap ports is due to Sega's laziness, they are completely out of touch with the people they are trying to sell their products to.

  • Tim

    I just wrote a book to SEGA on their Blog about "what do the fans want next". Both of my comments are "awaiting moderation"... fat chance they will be posted.

    I agree with all the above posts. One guy > SEGA


  • JD

    Two problems though;

    1) All of Sega's ports are shit
    2) Sonic is shit

  • Drunknbass

    I'm sure sega isn't ready to devote the time/$ needed to rewrote a game from scratch so they used an emu. This retro engine looks nice, but it's not "that" amazing. 2d games when done properly can run at 60fps (on 2nd gen touch).
    Simple fact is the .99 pricepoint on AppStore is the sole reason big companies arnt willing to risk putting $ into a game that might break even.
    Also the economy doesn't leave alot of money for these co to throw around right now.

  • Ataru

    @drunknbass - Correct me if I'm wrong, but Sega's laughably bad MD ports have not been $0.99, but substantially higher. Personally I'd gladly pay $10 or even $20 for a flawless 60fps port of Sonic CD as it's one of my favourite games of all time. There's no reason why Sega couldn't pay for this port, put it out on the app store and see how it does. They may be surprised at the reception a good port gets vs an abysmal one.

  • sticktron

    Guys.... SEGA's releases ARE NOT PORTS!!!!! I don't know how to stress this enough.

    They didn't hire a team of inept programmers to create bad ports. They released an emulator, and the ACTUAL ORIGINAL game ROM dumps. They are the EXACT original games.

    The slowness happens because of the emulation. And there are limitations for the way SDK apps can control the screen, so that's why emulators for jailbroken phones can run faster.

  • sticktron

    So in other words, stop spreading misinformation and mis-placed hate.

  • McChumpers

    I want Sonic CD now!

  • ShadowsFall

    OH YES!!! I love this game :D... Used to play it all the time when I was a kid

  • DreamPod

    Let's not say this is awesome and great until you actuall play it. Writing a port from scratch without the help of actual source means it's not going to be the same game as the original. Chances are good the physics (how far he jumps, fast he runs, etc.) aren't exact, collision could very well be off, things like that. We've all played bad ports (just look at the iPhone Megaman 2!)

    And as has been mentioned, this "retro engine" isn't that amazing, it's actually quite easy on the iPhone to get 60fps in a simple low-color low-res 2D game like that. But Sega hasn't been writing 2D games on iPhone, they've been releasing an emulator and the original game ROM's, unchanged and exact, and THAT is *extremely* hard to do, particularly with the official iPhone SDK.

  • Ollebro

    SEGAs response!

    "@SEGA Thx for all the messages about the Sonic CD vid. I have the link & your requests on my list. Will bring it up at our brainstorming meeting."

    Maybe we will accually see this in appstore!

  • Christian Whitehead

    Hey guys, thanks for all the feedback!

    I should mention, that although I haven't used the source code at all... if this gets the green light I would imagine I might be able to cross reference the game against the actual source to ensure the gameplay is correct. But I can say it's pretty damn accurate at the moment anyway.

    Also, classic 2D games aren't as easy to program on the iPhone as you may think. Since everything is tile based, there's actually quite a few polygons to push, add to this the need for alpha blending since 2D games have see through sprites and there's actually a bit of thought involved to optimize it.

    Anyway, I've played Sonic for years so hopefully you can trust me more than some other random outsourced guy... please? 😛

  • Ollebro

    i love you Christian!

  • Tim

    YEAH! The SEGA blog is totally dominated with demands for this dev to be hired! And there are constant slams on SEGA's crappy product quality as of late.



  • Chinito77

    Please put the "Sonic Boom" animation intro!

  • ron

    no more sidescrollers with iPhone controls ruining the games of yesteryear - please!! Give us Herzog Zwei instead.

  • rentrent

    Performance that LITERALLY blow the games sega has released so far out of the water? Literally???? LITERALLY????????

  • Daneealama

    Now whats up whit this?

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  • Leventis

    It Seems like Sega is never actually gonna use this awesome port of the game...
    ...Don't you just love Sega?

    • jandesf

      It's funny reading this after they actually released this version of Sonic CD, and then Sonic 1 and 2 in 2013 and are now making a completely new game with Christian Whitehead.

      But it seems like Sega is never actually gonna use the awesome Sonic 3 & Knuckles port...
      ...Don't you just love Sega?