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Is Smash Bros 3DS's earlier release a bad idea for Nintendo? [roundtable]
One of the biggest pieces of news from the recent SSB Direct--and one I think warrants some discussion--is that the 3DS version of SSB is hitting stores this summer, while the Wii U version is slated to arrive at the end of the year. Which is kind of the opposite of what many people were expecting and hoping for.

This is a pretty strange move to me, for a couple reasons. For starters, there's no doubt in my mind that the 3DS's early release will hurt Wii U sales. I've already heard people ask why they should get the Wii U version if it's got the same roster and just has different modes and such. The Wii U desperately needs killer apps--each one is an oasis in a desert, and it's bizarre to me that even Nintendo's own series can't be exclusive on their home consoles anymore! The 3DS, on the other hand, is doing fine and dandy; even if Smash never arrived, it'd probably go down in history as the best-selling system ever.

In terms of my own enjoyment of the series, a SSB game's release is an event like little else. I spend months, or years, speculating on the roster, absorbing every bit of media that releases, and generally getting caught up in the hype. Knowing that the 3DS version is the one where I'll be first introduced to Smash's takes on Mega Man, Villager, Wii Fit Trainer, Little Mac etc is a weird feeling. It's like, I know I'll love it, but it'll be somewhat off-putting knowing there's a better, "cleaner" version of the game coming a few months later. Almost like I can't enjoy it to its absolute fullest.

And speaking of which, what of when the Wii U version hits? It won't have that completely fresh, I'm-so-overwhelmed-by-all-these-characters punch that SSB64, Melee, and Brawl all shared. I'll have already mastered several characters, unlocked everyone, become very familiar with the way they control and interact, etc. It'd almost be like buying an HD remake or something…very strange.

On the plus side, playing SSB by this Summer almost sounds too good to be true. And for what it's worth, both versions are shaping up to be amazing (among the best on their systems, easily). I just really wish the releases were switched a bit, even if it meant a big delay for the 3DS.

What do you think of the whole 3DS first, Wii U later thing?

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Posted: 04/09/14, 09:06:15
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I know about 15 people who will probably pick up a 3DS since this version is releasing beforehand, but wouldn't even bother if it released at the same time or later. Let's call a spade a spade, the 3DS version is the "lite" version of the new Smash Bros, not to say that it isn't full-featured, but the Wii U version is going to be the real showpiece that Smash fans come back to again and again for local multiplayer in the years to come. Now the hardcore fans get a taste of what's to come, and enjoy some exclusive features like stages and the Smash Run mode. This is gonna push 3DS sales. And as long as Nintendo can differentiate the Wii U version enough, make it bigger and better with the added dev time, I guarantee any fan will go out and buy the Wii U version as well.

I'm surprised nobody thought of this before, but it does make perfect business sense to release the 3DS version beforehand. It does seem like it's throwing the Wii U version under the bus, but it gives them more time to make that the definitive version, and include all sorts of cool 3DS-WiiU connectivity features.
Posted: 04/09/14, 20:02:09
Maybe my fear is unwarranted but I kind of feel like the Wii U already has the problem where all of its best games are just "better" versions of its 3DS counterparts. I suppose the sales of these games are more based on the Wii U's problems, but I can't shake the feeling that in many cases, people just opted not to get 3D World, Monster Hunter Tri, and DKC:TF because they basically already have those games on 3DS (at least in the eyes of many people).

So when Smash Bros. 3DS comes out, are people going to care about another Smash Bros. game in a few months? Or will they just be burnt out? "I got my Smash Bros. fix already...not sure I need another one." I guess I just see it as yet another reason why people don't need a Wii U - they can simply play Smash Bros. on a device they already have.

I dunno...personally if I were you guys and were getting both games, the WOW factor of the Wii U version would be considerably lessened.
Posted: 04/09/14, 21:12:24  - Edited by 
 on: 04/09/14, 21:14:26
Fucking sigh.

If Wii U version under performs we will have one great reason why.

THE 3DS DOESN'T NEED THIS GAME, ESPECIALLY NOT FIRST!! Like, what in the actual fuck?
Posted: 04/09/14, 21:19:47
Time will tell, but it could be a bad thing for reasons already stated. Even if the Wii U version has a lot of different stuff in it, I'm not so sure the average consumer will view it as being a different game than the 3DS one. I don't think anyone on a forum represents the average consumer. Even though Nintendo have acknowledged that the Wii U is in dire straits, they don't seem to be acting any differently, so I wonder if they've resigned to the Wii U being a bit of a failure and are just going to release a few more games they had planned and then try to do better with their next console, go full handheld, or pursue that hybrid idea that's been kicked around.

@-JKR- On the Wii, Mario Kart Wii, NSMBWii, Super Mario Galaxy, Wii FIt, Wii Fit Plus, Wii Play, Wii Sports, and Wii Sports Resort all outsold SSBBrawl. Most of those titles outsold it by a factor of 2:1 or 3:1 (or 8:1 in Wii Sports' cheater case). The only system where Smash Brothers was the top seller is GameCube. It's still a big name and seller, but it isn't Nintendo's biggest.
Posted: 04/09/14, 21:27:49
@Mop it up

As unfair as it might be, I don't count all the Wii _______ games in the conversation. :P

I'd still argue Smash Brothers is their biggest deal left. Though I won't argue against Mario being there instead.


One more big arrow pointing towards "Pretty soon Nintendo will have one console, used both at home and on the road." It's only a matter of time if you ask me.

Bring it on, in my opinion. If I could fold up the Wii U gamepad and take it with me, I'd do it all the time.
Posted: 04/09/14, 22:10:22
I sometimes forget how "pro-Wii U" this forum is.

Instead of celebrating how amazing it will be to play a Smash Bros. game on a portable for the first time ever (ZOMG IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING) looking as gorgeous as it does (AMZNG), running at 60 fps, even in 3D (OMGWTFROTFLWHBBQ), many people are whining about how this might effect (affect?) the console game.

Like, we can't possibly be happy that the 3DS is going to be breaking new ground, delivering an amazing, never-before-seen experience, and catering to the Nintendo fan in all of us, because there might be a slight, barely possible, off-chance that *maybe-perhaps* it could deter the sales of ONE game for their console (which will do fine, or even GREAT anyway).

Like, WTF guys, LOL?!? Lighten up! Everyone should take @-JKR- 's advice and just STOP WORRYING SO MUCH. It'll all work out. Don't fret.
Posted: 04/09/14, 22:38:20

While I don't disagree that this forum bends a bit towards consoles, I'd also point out that it's not anti-handhelds. I'm pretty sure most everyone is excited to play Smash on the 3DS to some degree. The concern, if I'm reading correctly, is over the less than stellar sales situation the Wii U is in right now. Smash is probably seen as the highest card in Nintendo's hand for the Wii U. That's slightly different than a simple pro-console bias. If the Wii U was doing better, I don't believe this topic would exist.

Though, like I say, this forum does bend slightly towards consoles. But what can you do? I mean, these goofballs think The Incredibles is the best Pixar movie.
Posted: 04/09/14, 22:49:26  - Edited by 
 on: 04/09/14, 22:50:31
kriswright said:
Though, like I say, this forum does bend slightly towards consoles. But what can you do? I mean, these goofballs think The Incredibles is the best Pixar movie.

Hm, good point.

Seriously, The Incredibles won that poll?!?
Posted: 04/09/14, 22:55:30

For the record, I'm not concerned and haven't been.
Posted: 04/09/14, 22:55:45

You're a good man, Dr.

kriswright said:
That's slightly different than a simple pro-console bias. If the Wii U was doing better, I don't believe this topic would exist.

You're probably right.

Though I hope people here understand that the Wii U's "under performance" isn't the 3DS's fault. There seems to be some of that mentality here (talk of Nintendo shooting themselves in the foot with a "3DS bullet" or something like that). Any problems the Wii U has, is entirely on the Wii U's shoulders. Just like any successes the Wii U has, will be entirely because of the Wii U's efforts. Besides, Nintendo can't shoot themselves with a 3DS bullet, they ARE the 3DS bullet! Bullets can't shoot themselves. wait, can they? Someone call Mythbusters...

The 3DS isn't going to effect (affect?) the console one way or another. It's not like the Gameboy, GBA or DS had any relevance to their respective console counter-parts. I mean, right?

Nintendo fans should stop trying to blame the Wii U's sales on factors that are anything besides the Wii U itself. That console made it's bed, now it has to sleep in it.
Posted: 04/09/14, 23:04:06

Affect. Affect for heaven's sake! Generally "affect" is a verb and "effect" is a noun.
Posted: 04/09/14, 23:09:25
But they do keep shooting themselves in the foot! The 3DS isn't the problem, it's Nintendo repeatedly making their Wii U game sequels/follow-ups to 3DS games. Besides Pikmin 3, every big 1st-party Wii U title has followed a 3DS version: Mario U after NSMB2, DKCTF after DKC3D (a remake, but a recently-released one), SM3DW as a sequel to 3DL, and even Mario Kart could get the same argument. Smash Bros was kind of the one major system-seller they had for the Wii U that wouldn't be overshadowed by its handheld counterpart.

And I say this as someone who's GOTY for 2012 and 2013 was a 3DS game (Uprising and ALBW).

In short, the 3DS is enjoying plenty of good sales and strong releases without suckin' up the Wii U's few strong games already, and The Incredibles is totally the best Pixar movie.
Posted: 04/09/14, 23:11:21
@GameDadGrant This topic is specifically about the release dates and their possible impact on each other. Celebrating the games has been happening in other threads, plus Kriswright made some good points. The release dates don't really affect me because I was going to get both anyway, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the game is handled on 3DS and how the two connect. But it may have a negative impact on the struggling Wii U, so people want to discuss that. Back when the 3DS was struggling I was concerned about its future as well, and if it were still struggling in place of Wii U I would still be concerned about it.

I don't think anyone cares as much as you're making it out to be. It's just videogames. We just like to discuss 'em, and we get into it, but at the end of the day, it doesn't really impact us. :)
Posted: 04/09/14, 23:12:48

Funny that the same guy who thinks that Pokemon should stay on handhelds because there's "no point" to having a console version can't believe that people aren't so excited about a handheld version of a game traditionally made for consoles.

Personally, I'll happily play both.
Posted: 04/09/14, 23:14:45
You are taking that "handheld bias" a little far with that. The entire point of "shooting yourself in the foot" is that you pulled the trigger. Nintendo can't be in two places at once. Nintendo's efforts towards saving the Wii U are basically a joke compared to what they did with the 3DS. Where they threw unique (new) software at that system to make it appealing, Nintendo is essentially telling us that the 3DS is more important for Smash and Wii U owners get 2 games in an 8 month span from them.

It's going to feel bad.
Posted: 04/09/14, 23:17:17
kriswright said:

Though, like I say, this forum does bend slightly towards consoles. But what can you do? I mean, these goofballs think The Incredibles is the best Pixar movie.

That's a good point. I should keep that in mind next time I want to argue something...
Posted: 04/09/14, 23:29:52
Let's wait and see if some holes in the Wii U release schedule won't be filled come E3.
Posted: 04/09/14, 23:31:48

Don't worry, Smash Bros. for 3DS won't overshadow the Wii U version.

'The Incredibles' is better than 'Cars' and 'Cars 2' (put together), I'll give you that.

@Mop it up

That's you, but I think if the 3DS and Wii U were to switch places, this thread probably wouldn't exist.


Whoa, I didn't say that! I said: They need something unique on the system that is simply impossible on the handheld. Something to differentiate the games from each other. Which thankfully, Sakurai seems to be doing with Smash Bros. for both systems. (different stages, different modes, different graphics, etc)

Besides, getting something as "BIG" as Smash Bros. on a handheld is a much bigger deal than upscaling a Pokémon game to play on a console. This is uncharted territory (kinda, if you don't look at JUMP Ultimate Stars on DS, or Playstation Battle Royale on Vita).


Again, that's NOT the 3DS's fault. If Nintendo wants the Wii U to sell better (and/or just "look" better in gamers' eyes) they know what they have to do. So they should just do it. No need to try and throw the 3DS under the bus.
Posted: 04/09/14, 23:34:55
It kind of is the fault of the 3DS though (not that I really care at this point). It's pretty clear that Nintendo diverted a lot of resources back in 2011 and 2012 in order to make the 3DS as successful as possible. As a fairly small company relatively speaking, Nintendo only has so much they can do at one time.
Posted: 04/09/14, 23:43:30
I might be getting both but one things for sure, they are not telling us about the communication between WiiU and 3DS for a reason. This is a big "what if" but, what if right after the 3ds version is out they told us that there's cross platform play? Like you could play 3ds and WiiU together on the boards that are shared. Would explain why the rosters are exactly the same. I'd poop my pants and buy both.
Posted: 04/09/14, 23:45:10
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