Remember when Satoru Iwata was talking all excitedly about Nintendo's exciting franchises and how excited he was about how they were all coming to the Wii U and 3DS and stuff? Right, so he may have been a little too excited, it seems, as he actually announced at least one game that doesn't even exist yet.
That game would be the next in the Super Smash Bros. series, which Iwata proudly proclaimed would be coming to both the Wii U and 3DS. Series creator Masahiro Sakurai doesn't dispute that notion, but he would like you to know that he hasn't even started thinking about that game yet.
It's worth noting that Iwata has done this in the past--and it was with Smash Bros., too!
Sakurai apparently opted to use his regular column in Weekly Famitsu (translated by 1UP) to dispel the notion that a new Smash Bros. game was far enough along in development to even be considered a thing yet. Sakurai's studio, Project Sora, is solely focused on Kid Icarus: Uprising at this point in time, and hasn't even begun work on Smash Bros. yet.
"We've got no plans whatsoever -- we've got two new games out in the open when there's no extra time to work with them at all. It makes me cringe, and I'm not sure it's the smartest thing to make gamers wait for several years, but the early announcement was made chiefly in order to attract new team members."
Several years is probably not the phrase you wanted to hear when asking how far off the next Smash Bros. game was, but it's not like Nintendo releases a gaggle of these things every year, anyway. On the plus side, Sakurai had plenty to say on the decision to make the (eventual) game for both the Wii U and 3DS, instead of just one or the other.== TEASER ==
"If we went solely for the Wii U," he said, "the HD graphics would really bump up the visual effects, but then we'd be stuck in another arms race. If we made this game another extension over previous one, we'd have to cut out the new things we could possibly do on the 3DS hardware and compete with ourselves again over the size of the character roster and the amount of gameplay we can put it. It wouldn't be a fruitful competition, but doing something completely new would be difficult for many reasons, not least of which that the gamers may not be satisfied with it. That's why we decided to think about ways to link the personal connection one has with his portable system to the gather-around-and-play aspect of console systems."
So, at the very least, Sakurai has clearly been putting some thought into this next Smash Bros. project. Still, the man sounds a tad harried and a little uncomfortable with the strains now placed upon his head and the heads of his team.
"The hardest part about game development is the burdens it places upon me," he said. "With previous projects I had a game design document in place before forming a team, but with this I don't have the time for that. I won't be able to look at every aspect of the game and balance out all the characters by myself this time. I'm trying to think about how this is going to work out, but probably I'll have to discuss it with my future development team. The future of this project really depends on the people I can get involved with it."
Here's hoping he can find himself a future development team capable of taking some of the load off his shoulders. And, also, possibly squeeze in a vacation sometime.