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‘Smash Bros.’ director explains ‘Super Smash Bros. 4’ Wii U release date delay

Super Smash Bros. 4
Super Smash Bros. 4
Photo courtesy of Nintendo, used with permission.

The director of Super Smash Bros. has disclosed new information detailing why the release date for the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. 4 is delayed in relation to the Nintendo 3DS version. According to an article by Nintendo3DSDaily from Aug. 23, Masahiro Sakurai went into great detail discussing why Super Smash Bros. 4 for Wii U and 3DS couldn’t release simultaneously. As gamers know, the Nintendo 3DS version of Smash Bros. will be released in just a few more weeks, meanwhile the Wii U version remains without a confirmed release date.

Explained in his semi-weekly Famitsu column, Sakurai shared that the development team is currently in the process of debugging the Nintendo 3DS version of Super Smash Bros. 4. He continues to make note that debugging a title like Super Smash Bros. is achieved with hundreds of people – both domestically and overseas. In fact, the debugging process is so grand that it is one of the main reasons as to why the release date for Super Smash Bros. 4 Wii U and 3DS are separate. Find Sakurai’s detailed explanation – translation via Kotaku - below:

Checking is done both domestically and overseas, so for a game like Smash Bros., several hundred people are employed. So, debugging alone becomes a huge project. So much so that one of the biggest reasons for the separate release dates for the 3DS and Wii U versions was so that we could shift the debugging periods.

Sakurai further goes on to explain why a title may be delayed, citing that in the majority of cases it is due to a bug that couldn’t be fixed in time. To help illustrate the monumental task of debugging a game like Super Smash Bros. 4, Sakurai stated that every pattern must be tried – such as every fighter, item, settings, rules, and game modes - in order to debug properly. This process would be impossible, Sakurai shared. Find his full comment below:

In a previous Smash Bros., we found a bug during the debugging process where if fighter A hits item B and fighters C and D are simultaneously affected, the game would freeze. Considering not only the different fighters, but items, stages, color settings, play rules, and game modes, the number of varying combinations are astronomical. In order to properly debug, every pattern must be tried, but such a task would be impossible no matter how many decades or centuries you take.

Super Smash Bros. 4 will be released in North America for Nintendo 3DS on Oct. 3. The Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. 4 is currently slated for a Q4 2014. We expect to hear an official release date announcement in the coming weeks.

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