In the latest Sonic Mania Plus developer diary, the focus was on design and also how the game got a special edition in the form of a physical release. The game’s lead developer, Christian Whitehead, said there was high demand for a retail version: 

So, there was so much demand for a physical version of Sonic Mania that we decided to make a special edition for the fans. We basically wanted to add enough content so that people, you know, playing Sonic Mania, say, a year later could go back and experience the content in the same way maybe a band plays an encore set. You know, we even added some additional cutscenes, so the next time the players run through Mania Mode they’ll get a bit of a surprise.

The head of Sonic Team, Takashi Iizuka, explained how it was a decision made with the fans in mind:  

We wanted to make Sonic fans happy, so when we released the physical package, we included the deluxe art book and reversible sleeve designed to mimic the SEGA Genesis / Mega Drive box. We’ve already released the "Encore DLC" for those who already own the digital version at a lower price, so they can enjoy Sonic Mania Plus.

The full diary can be viewed above, and also touches on the finer points of Sonic Mania Plus including the new characters, Mighty and Ray, and the competitive multiplayer option.

On a related note, here's a list of the patch notes for Sonic Mania version 1.04:

  • The Main Menu layout has been updated with a visual diorama system that shows a preview of each mode.
  • A call to action button has been added in the Main Menu.
  • Updated cutscenes in Mania Mode.
  • Updated boss fights in Mania Mode.
  • Additional game options.
  • Additional Data menu.
  • Updated localisation.
  • Updated leaderboard support in Time Attack mode.
  • General bug fixes.

Have you downloaded the new DLC or will you be picking up a copy of Sonic Mania Plus instead? Tell us below.