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.