This article is about a subject in the real world.
Information in this article is about real-life people, companies, and objects, and does not relate to the in-universe Sonic series.
Main page

Hedgehog Engine

The Hedgehog Engine is the graphics game engine used in some Sonic video games.


The Hedgehog Engine is a graphics engine, and has no bearings on gameplay style. It is only compatible with the Wii U, PS3, Xbox 360, and PC because the Wii's and Nintendo 3DS's hardware is not powerful enough to handle its next-gen lighting and visual effects. The engine is not to be confused with Havok, which is related to certain physics tasks, or Sonic Team's in-house engine used for gameplay. Hedgehog Engine is also used in the game Sonic Generations. Sonic Generations was in development for two years from 2009.

As well as featuring camera position changes and a blend of classic elements from other Sonic games, the Hedgehog Engine also uses a revolutionary new piece of technology. This was called the "light-field", which can create CGI quality graphics in the in-game graphics system. The basic concept of the Light-field is that light bounces off every single thing on screen, creating an ultra realistic look on the area around. Also, not only did the graphics around Sonic change, but so did Sonic's model. Light is reflected off of him too, to make sure that he didn't look "out of place" as many reviewers would claim from past Sonic games. This was the longest part of the Hedgehog Engine to make, taking three years to develop.


Features of the Hedgehog Engine include:

  • Pre-Baked Global Illumination (GI)
  • GI Generated Textures
  • Post Processed HDR Bloom
  • Eye adaptaion & HDR lighting
  • Color grading and tone mapping
  • Light-field character illumintation
  • Dynamic shadows
  • Motion blur & depth of field
  • Multi-Core support

Games using the Hedgehog Engine

Hedgehog Engine 2

A successor to the original Hedgehog Engine named "Hedgehog Engine 2" has been developed and is confirmed by Takashi Izuka that Sonic Forces released for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch will be running on it, being the first game to do so.[3]


  • The engine is named after Sonic's species.


  1. Sonic Sochi Wii U Lighting swap. YouTube. ItsHelias94 (30 December 2015). Retrieved on 2 November 2015.
  2. Hedgehog Engine took 3 years to develop.
  3. Sonic Official - SXSW Recap
Sonic the Hedgehog in other media