How Will Portability Affect Super Smash Brothers?

by Benjamin Yoder, posted on 09 July 2011 / 3,832 Views
How Will Portability Effect Super Smash Brothers?
We don't know much about Super Smash Bros. 3DS or its partner software on the Wii U. Why? Because the game hasn't even really begun development yet! But we do know two solid facts: The title will have some sort of connectivity between the hand-held and home console version and that Nintendo is looking into the possibilities of transferring customizable player data between the two versions. With the creator of the Super Smash Bros. Series, Masahiro Sakurai, still wrapping up work on Kid Icarus: Uprising, this is probably the only information we will know for awhile. For now we can only speculate. The Smash Bros. Series has never seen any sort of release on a portable platform, so the team will be moving into semi-uncharted territory. The question is, how will the unique aspects of the portable market and its connectivity to the Wii U version change Smash Bros. 
We can probably already assume what the Wii U version of Smash Bros will look like. Four player gameplay using Wii Remotes, Nun-chucks and Classic Controllers. Maybe we will see some minor Wii U controller support. But like the Wii's motion controls in Brawl, it will probably be left to the side, especially with only one Wii U controller partnering each system. A standard Smash Bros. experience but in HD and with whatever tweaks are deemed necessary by the staff. Of course, all of it will be smashed into a huge pack of Nintendo love. The 3DS version, on the other hand, is a big question mark. 
The series has always had a focus on multiplayer. On the 3DS, there are a lot more hurdles to jump to provide this sort of experience. Obviously you need each player not only with a 3DS but a copy of the game as well. From an online perspective, that's not an issue. But from a local wireless perspective, the title definitely will hit some snags as finding other players outside of a few friends will probably be difficult. It's the inherent nature of portable multi-player titles, at least here in the U.S. This alone will require two things out of Super Smash Bros on 3DS. One, a greater online component to better facilitate players online. And in Super Smash Bros.' case, it would be hard not improve it after Brawl. The second change is the need for a focus on solo content. You won't always be within a Wi-Fi connection range and there's a greater chance you won't have two to four players near you for a significant period of time. While Space Emissary is fun and the older modes still prove well as time killers, the title will need some new form of solid solo content.
Exactly what kind of modes those would be, is hard to say. At least based on comments Nintendo has made about the title so far, it sounds like the consumer will be mainly transferring content from the 3DS to the Wii U, and not so much the opposite. The “customizable players” shows intent of possibly adding some sort of collectable items, upgradable character stats or something of that sort. If purely for cosmetic reasons, there needs to be more than just the normal modes with a new hat as a dangling carrot. It would work to a certain extent, but would be the cheap way out.
Of course, depending on how the games communicate, the 3DS version may have to fall in line with the home release. And while it doesn't sound like a straight port of the home console release, they could start to eat each other in terms of sales.  If you end up with a titles that are almost near identical across both platforms, it might be a hard sell trying to not only get the consumer to buy the Wii U version for, presumably, $59.99, but also pushing the 3DS version for $39.99. It's not an issue for those who only own one platform, but for those looking to make use of the connectivity, there needs to be more differences than just a gimped version of Smash Brothers on the go.
Really, were still at the point of having no idea where Super Smash Bros. will go. There will be Nintendo characters and they will probably be punching each other, I can assure you that. But it will be interesting to see how Nintendo handles the 3DS version. The Wii U will probably be exactly what we expect, but the 3DS version could literally be anything from a less flashy port or a completely separate title tailor made for the platform. Either way, whether you only own a 3DS, only plan on picking up a Wii U, or intend on owning both at the same time, you've got some Smash Bros. coming. And that alone is something to be excited about. Even if it is still years out. 

We don't know much about Super Smash Bros. 3DS or its partner software on the Wii U. Why? Because the game hasn't even really begun development yet! We do know two solid facts: the title will have some sort of connectivity between the hand-held and home console version and Nintendo is looking into the possibilities of transferring customizable player data between the two versions. With the creator of the Super Smash Bros. Series, Masahiro Sakurai, still wrapping up work on Kid Icarus: Uprising, this is probably the only information we will know for awhile. For now we can only speculate. The Super Smash Bros. Series has never seen any sort of release on a portable platform, so the team will be moving into semi-uncharted territory. The question is, how will the unique aspects of the portable market and its connectivity to the Wii U version change Super Smash Bros

We can probably already assume what the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. will look like. Four player gameplay using Wii Remotes, Nun-chucks and Classic Controllers. Maybe we will see some minor Wii U controller support. Like the Wii's motion controls in Brawl, it will probably be left to the side, especially with only one Wii U controller partnering each system. A standard Smash Bros. experience but in HD and with whatever tweaks are deemed necessary by the staff. Of course, all of it will be smashed into a huge pack of Nintendo love. The 3DS version, on the other hand, is a big question mark. 

The series has always had a focus on multiplayer. On the 3DS, there are a lot more hurdles to jump to provide this sort of experience. Obviously you need each player not only with a 3DS but a copy of the game as well. From an online perspective, that's not an issue. But from a local wireless perspective, the title definitely will hit some snags as finding other players outside of a few friends will probably be difficult. It's the inherent nature of portable multi-player titles, at least here in the U.S. This alone will require two things out of Super Smash Bros on 3DS. One, a greater online component to better facilitate players online. And in Super Smash Bros.' case, it would be hard not improve it after Brawl. The second change is the need for a focus on solo content. You won't always be within a Wi-Fi connection range and there's a greater chance you won't have two to four players near you for a significant period of time. While Subspace Emissary is fun and the older modes still prove well as time killers, the title will need some new form of solid solo content.

Exactly what kind of modes those would be, is hard to say. At least based on comments Nintendo has made about the title so far, it sounds like the consumer will be mainly transferring content from the 3DS to the Wii U, and not so much the opposite. The “customizable players” shows intent of possibly adding some sort of collectable items, upgradable character stats or something of that sort. If purely for cosmetic reasons, there needs to be more than just the normal modes with a new hat as a dangling carrot. It would work to a certain extent, but would be the cheap way out.

Of course, depending on how the games communicate, the 3DS version may have to fall in line with the home release. And while it doesn't sound like a straight port of the home console release, they could start to eat each other in terms of sales.  If you end up with a titles that are almost near identical across both platforms, it might be a hard sell trying to not only get the consumer to buy the Wii U version for, presumably, $59.99, but also pushing the 3DS version for $39.99. It's not an issue for those who only own one platform, but for those looking to make use of the connectivity, there needs to be more differences than just a gimped version of Super Smash Bros. on the go.

Really, were still at the point of having no idea where Super Smash Bros. will go. There will be Nintendo characters and they will probably be punching each other, I can assure you that. But it will be interesting to see how Nintendo handles the 3DS version. The Wii U will probably be exactly what we expect, but the 3DS version could literally be anything from a less flashy port or a completely separate title tailor made for the platform. Either way, whether you only own a 3DS, only plan on picking up a Wii U, or intend on owning both at the same time, you've got some Smash Bros. coming. And that alone is something to be excited about. Even if it is still years out. 


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16 Comments

usrevenge (on 09 July 2011)

uh it should be like super smash... on a hand held.....


blkfish92 (on 09 July 2011)

As long as the 3ds doesn't halt or slow production or make the game any less than what it should be, then count me in.


Immortal (on 09 July 2011)

As long as there's Nintendo characters and they're punching each other, who cares, :D?


thetonestarr (on 10 July 2011)

If there's a way to play cross-platform (not just communicate and transfer data, but actually have one person on a 3DS playing on the Internet against someone else on a WiiU), I'd probably jizz in my pants. They don't have to be the same game. The WiiU version could perfectly easily have a "dumbed down" mode for when you play the cross-platform mode.


menx64 (on 10 July 2011)

We are taking about nintendo and sakurai so the quality should not be an issue here... And no problem, I'll buy 3 more copies for my brothers day 1... and Of course the wiiU as well...


spurgeonryan (on 09 July 2011)

I cannot wait to be on the go and able to battle others on my 3DS who may be at home!


masterno (on 27 August 2011)

@Ckoal that would be cool but then they should also include Byrne for legend of zelda spirit tracks to actually both versions since that is a very cool villain.


WiseOwl (on 11 July 2011)

It shouldn't affect it at all.


Linkasf (on 10 July 2011)

A handheld version would a nice change, but like someone said earlier, this better not slow down the production of the Wii U version because that one will most likely be the definitive version of the game. One thing why I dislike the idea of a Smash handheld game is for this one reason: How will I change my worn out controller? For Melee, I needed 3 controllers because the first 2 got worn out on the span of a few years, and the 3rd one is getting worn out... but at a slower pace. I believe my 3DS is getting worn out because or mercenaries, where I've spent over 50 hours on it already. A smash game on a handheld just doesn't seem practical as every single fighting game out there always result in controller changing because they always get worn out.


dany612 (on 10 July 2011)

Just buy a new 3DS lol


  • 0
Ckoal (on 09 July 2011)

I think all that needs to be done is for the 3DS version have like DS and 3DS exclusive character ((like professor layton)) and for the WiiU just have Wii or WiiU exclusive Characters that are completely different from the 3DS exclusive ones. I mean both games should have like a standard set of start characters, but the hidden characters for each should be different. Also it's called DS download, it's been here for years, I don't have mario kart yet i play it everyday with my friends cause i just download their data thingy


hatmoza (on 09 July 2011)

Will depend on what new characters join the fray.


oniyide (on 09 July 2011)

it would be fine, Tekken, Darkstalkers, Soul Calibur, Street Fighter hell even Dead or Alive have made excellent transitions to handhelds, damn even that Bleach fighting game for DS was good (the 2nd at least). I am worried about online cause the Brawl sucked in that department


sirroman (on 09 July 2011)

"a completely separate title tailor made for the platform": that's what it should be, it would be best if only the most basic things are common to both titles: multiplayer and a handful of characters. Single player modo, extra-characters, mini-missions... All that should be different, so people will want to buy both games to add all that into WiiU (or to the 3DS). More: street pass is a no-brainer, but it could be in some way broader than the SF4 one. And what you get with street pass on SSB 3DS should go to SSB WiiU also. Also: character customization with the tablet could be transferred to 3DS, which would make street pass even broader (what about if you got the character template of other 3DS but the other player's account stay attached to the template? - unless you delete it, of course).


siavm (on 10 July 2011)

I think they may release them in different years. And like you said have differentiating modes and characters that can be exchanged between the two.


oniyide (on 09 July 2011)

its handheld so i will let it slide


Comments below voting threshold

RolStoppable (on 09 July 2011)

The Super Smash Bros. series has always been a buttonmasher for kids who can't handle the proper Nintendo games. I know some of you people that like SSB won't like me saying this, but you know just as well as I that most of you wouldn't even be able to beat a relatively simple game like Kirby's Epic Yarn, because you would die all over the place.


hagelt18 (on 10 July 2011)

LOL! Nice troll. You can't die in epic yarn...


  • +3
usrevenge (on 10 July 2011)

Since your bad its a game for kids? for the longest time SSB was the only game worth mentioning on Wii short of like super mario galaxy


  • 0
RolStoppable (on 10 July 2011)

"for the longest time SSB was...", the way this is worded, it sounds like things have changed over time and the Wii now actually has a decent number of high quality games. You gotta be kidding me.


  • -1
dany612 (on 10 July 2011)

lol at your last statement. I'm rolling on the floor.


  • -1