Although Nintendo fans had been hoping that last week’s Direct would confirm Super Smash Bros. for the Switch, the mic drop announcement trailer still felt like an exciting surprise. In addition to just being exciting to brawl on the go with the Switch, the trailer also got fan hopes up by suggesting that the new Super Smash Bros. won’t just be a port of the Wii U version from 2014.
Early leaks and rumors about Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch all hinted that the title would be a port of the Wii U version with some new features and fighters. This would follow the same pattern we saw with the Mario Kart franchise and with Pokken Tournament. Despite that expectation, the intentionally vague announcement trailer (and some follow up research) offers some compelling evidence that the Switch game is actually a brand new entry in the franchise.
Let’s start off with the title and logo. Super Smash Bros. was the revealed title, but it seems pretty unlikely that the game won’t get some kind of subtitle. The main suspicion is that if this was a direct port of the most recent game, it would be retitled from Super Smash Bros. for Wii U to Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Switch.
In addition to the seemingly incomplete title, there are also some slight differences to the logo. The logo, like the title, seems to still be incomplete, so we expect a more official reveal to come in follow up announcements, after the title and the logo are finalized later this year.
Probably the most compelling piece of evidence though is the credited developer. During the trailer, HAL Laboratories is credited as the developer, rather than Bandai Namco. Bandai was responsible for developing the 2014 Wii U version, so it seems very unlikely that Nintendo would drop its name off of the announcement trailer entirely, even if there was a different studio handling the port work.
— 桜井 政博 (@Sora_Sakurai) March 8, 2018
Masahiro Sakurai, the creator and lead developer of the Super Smash Bros. series, left one of the biggest pieces of evidence on his Twitter feed. Here’s a translation of his remarks…
“Right now we’re just at the stage where we revealed this game, but I’ve been working on this game in silence day after day. Please wait until we can release more information, or until release day!”
Obviously there’s some room for interpretation there, but it does sound like the creator is referring to work on a new title, rather than a title he helped develop years ago.
If all of that isn’t enough, fans should also check out the Smash Bros. website, which has been totally updated his the announcement. All of the old assets relating to Super Smash Bros for Wii U/3DS have been removed and the site is reskinned. It seems likely that the marketing team is clearing the way to start confirming the new roster of fighters.
The evidence definitely suggests that a brand new game is on the way, but it will be impossible to know for sure until Nintendo comes out and says as much for sure. Check back for more Super Smash Bros. news and updates.
Super Smash Bros. is set to launch in 2018 for Nintendo Switch.