|Super Smash Bros. Wii U / 3DS|
|Developer(s)||Namco Bandai Games|
Super Smash Bros. Wii U / 3DS is an upcoming Wii U and Nintendo 3DS video game in the Super Smash Bros. series. It is being developed by Namco Bandai Games, and directed by series creator Masahiro Sakurai. The game was announced at E3 2011 by Nintendo President Satoru Iwata. During the presentation he confirmed that both the Wii U and 3DS versions of the game will feature some sort of cross-platfrom connectivity. The game is often refered to among fans as "Super Smash Bros. Universe", which comes from a supposedly leaked image that surfaced on the website Reddit. In a recent Nintendo Direct, Satoro Iwata stated that the revealing of the next SSB would be at E3.
On July 2, 2012 Masahiro Sakurai shared an image on his Twitter feed of a drawing the development staff had made on a white board that displayed many characters from previous Smash Bros. titles. While it does not confirm that they will in fact be featured in the game, it may be an indication that certain characters are returning. The characters in the drawing are:
- Donkey Kong
- Zero Suit Samus
- Mr. Game & Watch
- Meta Knight
In addition to the fighters, the drawing also features:
- A Pikmin
- Mr. Saturn
- Either a Heart Container or a Heart from the Kid Icarus series
- Master Hand
- Possibly Crazy Hand
An Iwata Asks interview released in June 2011 revealed a few early details about the game. Discussions between Iwata and Sakurai about creating a Super Smash Bros. title for the 3DS with the then newly formed Project Sora began shortly after the release of Super Smash Bros. Brawl in 2008. It was decided however that Sakurai and his team would first tackle Kid Icarus: Uprising. As development of the Wii U began, it became clear to Sakurai that creating a game for both systems would be necessary. He began to think about the differences between the two platforms, and realized the personal nature of the handheld experience. This led him to consider the idea of customizing and leveling up characters with things like experience points, however he and Iwata expressed how this may limit the "pick-up-and-play" quality the series is known for. Ultimately, "What Sakurai hopes to do is have the 3DS version of Smash Bros. allow players to build up their character through battle and rewards, then take their custom character to the Wii U version to face off against everyone. He feels it could be nice if they can make the "personal" portable space and the stadium-like "public" console space mesh together." Sakurai has acknowledged that the Wii U version could offer 60 frames per second visuals, high quality graphics, dynamic effects, and smooth character movements, while the 3DS version will likely offer players a slightly different Smash Bros. experience. Many members of the Kid Icarus: Uprising staff are likely to work on the project. Sakurai hopes to let his team handle the character balancing this time around, as opposed to him personally doing it as he did in the previous titles.
When asked about whether or not a Capcom character could make an appearance, Sakurai said "I can't say that it's entirely out of the realm of possibility that some Capcom character could appear in the next Smash Bros. The big problem, though, comes from the idea of trying to get characters from a completely different universe to fit with the style that has been dictated by Nintendo's characters in a fighting game."
Early development on the game finally began in February 2012 after Project Sora had finished it's work on Kid Icarus: Uprising. On April 25, 2012, Sakurai revealed some of his early thoughts on the games in an interview with IGN, explaining that the series needs to evolve. "There is a certain dead end we come to if we just expand the volume of the game. I intend to change direction a little as we go. The key to that's going to be its dual support for 3DS/Wii U. I'm really just getting started on this so it's going to take time, but I'll come up with something that uses that link as the game's central axis, so I hope you're looking forward to it."
In an interview with Nintendo Power, Sakurai expressed that the wait for the game's release may be longer than many fans are expecting saying, "We've just taken what you could call the first step of the process. This is the first time I've ever had my next project announced before it's even entered development, and because of that, I fear that players will be forced to wait even longer than they expect to. Please be patient."
On June 21, 2012 during a Nintendo Direct video stream, Nintendo announced that Namco Bandai would be developing the two games with Sakurai's Project Sora. A top tier group of developers from Namco have been assembled including Masaya Kobayashi (Ridge Racer series), Yoshito Higuchi (producer and director of the Tales series), Tetsuya Akatsuka (producer and director of Mobile Suit Gundam: Extreme Vs.), the art director/sound director of the SoulCalibur series, as well as the main development team staff from the Tekken series.
In an interview with Nintendo Power, Sakurai discussed the amount of playable characters saying, “It isn’t a matter of ‘if the next game has 50 characters, that’ll be enough.’ There is a certain charm to games that have huge casts of playable characters, but they tend to have issues with game balance and it becomes very difficult to fine-tune each character and have them all feel distinctive…. In terms of quantity, we’ve probably already reached the limit of what’s feasible. I think a change of direction may be what’s needed.”
When asked about the possibility of any Namco Bandai characters making an appearance in the game, Tekken producer Katsuhiro Harada said "We’re not really sure at this moment but when thinking of the playerbase who is playing Smash Bros, maybe Tekken characters is something they wouldn’t want, so I’ve been pulling back on that a bit. But I don’t know."