As predicted, Sega's playful countdown of playable characters that are set to feature in the upcoming Project Needlemouse has left only one anthropomorphic mascot standing: Sonic the Hedgehog. It's sad to think that Sonic starring in a Sonic game can make the news, but that's the world we live in.

It's a world you have to share with Sega blog commenters like "ilcane87," who mildly castigated the publisher for turning a blind eye to super fans. "There's thousands and thousands of websites and message boards dedicated to single characters of the Sonic franchise out there," came the response, "and it's all those fans that you are going to alienate if you keep neglecting everyone besides Sonic himself, like you did in Unleashed." Not exactly Tikal'd pink, then.

While ilcane87 may have lost "all interest for this game," we suspect some of you will be interested enough to view the piece of concept art posted after the break. Expect Sonic's solo return to 2D sometime in 2010.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.