Ran into this on ebay: https://picclick.com/1993-SEGA-Contest-Vintage-Print-Ad-Poster-Sonic-the-175354409461.html Fun! Prizes! Contests! Giveaways! This is EGM and Hero Illustrated Super Tour '93. Sendai Publishing did a few of these in the mid-90s, but only the 1993 one has Sega stuff in it. It occurred during August, September and October of that year. Obviously only EGM covered this event, and according to them, everything was awesome, because obviously. Also look, it's Plok. Sega brought along Sonic Spinball, Eternal Champions and Jurassic Park - there are two Sega kiosks as the back of this photo, and presumably all three games were playable. But "be the first" is an interesting line - Jurassic Park shipped at the beginning of August, and both it and Eternal Champions were playabable at Summer CES in June. Sonic Spinball though? That was only a video at SCES. So August 1993 might genuinely be the first time the general public could play the game. You know what else has an August date? Sonic the Hedgehog Spinball (Mega Drive prototype; 1993-08) That prototype of ours - the one that's been sitting around for decades, but whose origins are unknown. The build's too late for Summer CES, but the final iterations are dated mid-September. If this build was compiled before the 13th August, it could have gone on tour, being paraded around US shopping malls for a few months. It's very easy for a cartridge to go missing when you're moving to a new public venue every week, and as the ROM was supposedly dumped in 1993 (before the final game made it to shelves?) the dates line up. However, as this is something only EGM cared about, there isn't a massive amount of coverage out there - they're certainly not going to mention cartridges going missing. Can we confirm or deny our Sonic Spinball proto was from here?