Release Gap Between Wii U and 3DS Versions of ‘Smash Bros.’ Explained

Published 11 months ago by

Super Smash Bros 4 screenshots

Nintendo was sure to keep Super Smash Bros. at the forefront of its presence during E3 2014. The confirmation of Palutena and Mii Fighters were understandably exciting (as any newcomer reveals traditionally are), but they were also predictable additions — and foresight into their inclusion diminished the impact of their announcements.

Not being content with just a handful of Smash-related announcements during its Nintendo Digital Event, the Big N also held a roundtable for the upcoming brawlers during the first official day of E3. The biggest piece of information to spawn from the event came in the form of Pac-Man’s addition to the main roster, but following a brief preview of other features within the games, franchise creator Masahiro Sakurai began a question and answer segment for those in attendance.

One journalist enquired as to why there was a gap between the release of Super Smash Bros. for 3DS and the impending Wii U version. As Sakurai pointed out (via translator Tim O’Leary), the reason behind this release delay is the debug process. As it turns out, there’s an ample amount of debug that needs to occur for both versions of the crossover fighting game, and instead of hiring on “thousands of people,” Nintendo has opted to ship the two versions months apart.

Super Smash Bros Wii U E3 2014 Third Party Characters

“The biggest reason is [the] debug process. This is a really big game, it’s on… it’s got a huge scale and there are so many different culminations of things we have to test and in [order] to do that thoroughly and correctly we need a large number of staff. That’s going to be like several hundred people working on just that. Again, if we were gonna do both those versions at the same time, you could imagine the amount of people we’d need just for debug. We’re in a situation where we’d have to call in, I don’t know, thousands of people.”

“Each game has a different architecture in that they really are different and unique games, so each one requires our complete attention to not only finishing the game, but, again, going through the debug process and therefore being able to get the best use of our staff. so each game gets their full concentration, so we decided to launch them months apart.”

Despite delaying the Wii U version to get the 3DS iteration of Super Smash Bros. out first, it’s important that Nintendo and Sakurai are ensuring that time is put into the debug process. If either title were to launch with a fatal error or glitch then it could shine a negative light on the company as a whole, and that’s something that the house of Mario really doesn’t need at this point in time.

Still, both games are said to be on track to release later this year, and there’s still a lot that fans don’t know about the new titles. With that in mind, stay tuned to Game Rant for more news on Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS as it arrives.


Super Smash Bros. on the 3DS will hit retailers on October 3, 2014, while the Wii U version is pencilled in for Winter 2014.

Follow Riley on Twitter @TheRileyLittle.

TAGS: 3DS, E3 2014, Namco Bandai, Nintendo, Super Smash Bros., Super Smash Bros. for 3DS, Super Smash Bros. for Wii U, Wii U

  • Daniel Carlson

    they shoulda released the wii u version first. people might have gone out and bought a wii u for it. but if they already own a cheaper 3ds then i highly doubt they would pick up a wii u or the wii u version at that. there are differences but ultimately they are exactly the same

    • Joshua

      Having the Wii U version first would kill the sales of the 3DS version. having them release at the same time would kill sales of both as a lot of customers would be forced to buy one or the other. Having the 3DS version first does not kill the sales of the Wii U version and is the best option. The Wii U version is superior, they are not ultimately exactly the same.

      • Jonathan

        Agreed. I know of a few people that plan to buy it on the Wii u just because of how weird it looks on the 3ds to them. Heck my friends who have a 3ds don’t plan on buying a wii u anytime soon and probably wont, not even for smash. This is more of a good thing if anything considering people will be able to save up more for the game and console and buy it later in the year around the holidays.