In the recent Nintendo Direct, Super Smash Bros. was revealed for Nintendo Switch. Everyone was blown away by the teaser trailer, which was masterfully directed and animated. After all of the screaming and cheering subsided, one question dominated the conversation: Is this a port of the Wii U game, or is this a brand new Super Smash Bros.?
It’s a perfectly legitimate question, and it’s the source of heated debate in the Smash Bros. community and the Nintendo community generally. Many players are asserting that we are definitely looking at a port of the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. with some extra characters, while another camp inssits that it only makes sense at this point for Nintendo to put out a new game. Personally, I fall in the latter camp, but there are valid arguments on both sides.
The argument for a new game:
There are a few reasons why believe that Super Smash Bros. on Nintendo Switch is a brand new Smash, and not a port. The main reason is that the Wii U Smash Bros. came out in 2014, and Nintendo has had more than enough time to develop an entirely new game. Yes, there has been a lot of DLC in the months following launch, but that doesn’t mean that development on the next iteration couldn’t be taking place simultaneously.
I think it’s also worth pointing out that we saw Mario Kart 8 Deluxe just weeks after the launch of the Switch. Wii U to Switch ports don’t happen at the push of a button, but they’re also not an enormous undertaking. Most of the code can remain untouched, Nintendo would be using the same engine, and all of the same assets. If Super Smash Bros. Deluxe was going to happen, I think it would have happened last year. There’s absolutely no reason for Nintendo to sit on a port of Smash Bros. for over a year when they could have released it in 2017.
TL;DR: We’re looking at almost four years since the last Smash Bros. release, and that’s more than enough time for Nintendo to develop an entirely new game.
The argument for a port:
There is one, primary, logical argument for this Smash Bros. being a port, and it’s this: No one bought a Wii U. The Nintendo Switch in its first year has already surpassed the Wii U’s lifetime sales. Smash Bros. on Wii U was and is a fantastic game, and it never saw a fraction of the audience it deserves, so the question could be asked, “Why pour million into development of a new Smash when you could bring over a fantastic, existing game, with new characters, for a fraction of the cost?” The game would be “new” to most people, right?
Nintendo has also seen tremendous success with its Wii U ports. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe rarely leaves the best sellers list, and Bayonetta 1 & 2 shot straight to the top of the charts when they launched. There are also a ton of Smash Bros. amiibo out there, so there aren’t many changes Nintendo can make to the current roster. There’s no way they’re going to suddenly render some of those amiibo useless. That’s not to say they can’t expand the roster greatly, but it does put some limits on them, and with the Wii U roster they’re totally safe from having to make cuts.
What do you think?
Let us know in the comments below. Do you think we’re getting a brand new game, or a port? Why? Will it affect your buying decision at all?
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