Smash Bros. Creator Explains Why Wii U Owners Have To Wait

Smash Bros. Creator Explains Why Wii U Owners Have To Wait

As the release date of Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS fast approaches, you might take a moment to ponder why Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo Wii U isn’t coming out simultaneously. Series creator, Masahiro Sakurai explains why.

In his semi-weekly column in Weekly Famitsu, Sakurai noted that at the time of writing, he is currently in the middle of the debug process for the 3DS version of the new Smash Bros. Debugging is where a team tests a game for any unintended glitches for the programmers to fix before the final product is released. the process is time-consuming, painstaking, and potentially ripping-out-fists-full-of-hair frustrating.

“Checking is done both domestically and overseas, so for a game like Smash Bros., several hundred people are employed.” Sakurai explained. “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.”

As gamers, we are able to laugh at funny glitches, and yell at developers over game-breaking bugs that are stumbled upon by accident, but very few of us are subjected to the process of actually finding them. With a game like Smash Bros., the varying combinations and complex coding involved is mind-blowing.

“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.” Sakurai recalled. “Considering not only the different fighters, but items, stages, colour 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.”

While this doesn’t necessarily excuse the existence of bugs — give me back my damn save data, Fallout: New Vegas — it does make you empathise with the hundreds of individuals who have to play the same parts over and over trying to find any bugs. “There are many reasons why a game’s release date will be delayed, but eight or nine times out of ten, it’s usually because a bug couldn’t be fixed in time.” Sakurai wrote. “But it’s better than releasing a product like that.”

I suppose we can wait a little longer for the Wii U version of Smash Bros. So long as both versions are awesome.

Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS is scheduled for release in Japan on September 13, in North America and Europe on October 3, and in Australia on October 4. Super Smash Bros. for Wii U is scheduled for release in Q4 2014.

ファミ通.com [ファミ通.com]


    • There’s a craptonne of Wii-U owners who have Mario Kart, Super Mario Bros U, and now nothing new until Smash bros. Waiting….

    • They honestly should have gone with Wii U first. I mean i am just going to pick up a version for my 3DS and be happy. so no console version for me.

      If it was Wii U First i would have played that then wanted a portable version lol.

      • At the same time, doing the 3DS version first means they won’t be criticised for releasing a gimped version of the game for the handheld. The Wii U should be able to handle anything they get the 3DS to do, but the reverse isn’t true.

        If the Wii U ends up being the better version, they can always explain it as being due to the later release date.

    • Yeah, considering the added dynamic of the wii u controller and the differing hardware in the console itself. It also means that some of the more generic bugs that would affect both versions would be caught now and save time later on the Wii U version.

  • only 6 weeks till the 3DS version releases and their still debugging, they better hurry up, because it’s gonna take a while to manufacture and ship all those carts.

    I think another reason why the Wii U version has been delayed is so they can release the Amiibos’ at the same time.

  • Testing would be such a tedious job. You don’t just get to play the game through, you play bits over and over and over to try and work out what triggers a bug. Or going through heaps of slightly different variations of the same thing.

    I heard an interesting thing about finding how many bugs you have. Put in some intentional ones. Work out what percentage are picked up by debug people. Say they found 7 out of 10. That means they probably only found about 70% of real bugs too.

  • Since the Wii U is dragging it’s legs, i would have thought they would bring the Wii U one out first to try sell more home consoles..

  • Having done this job before, I can sympathise: Not only can it take hundreds of playthroughs to reproduce bugs, you also have to identify what’s causing them, fix it, and then do hundreds more to see if it’s gone. It’s the least bit fun for the testers, and it’s also a very expensive one for the developers.

    All that considered, you have to applaud Nintendo for doing the right thing by their fans and taking the time to make sure their game is the best it could possibly be. Not something you see from a lot of AAA developers these days.

  • As a professional software tester I can completely understand this, I only wish our organisation took time to fix bugs instead of just forcing an unfinished product on our customers. If our customers were gamers we would of already been lynched for the amount of crap that goes out. So I would always rather take a pushed back date over a 2nd rate product.

  • I’m buying the 3DS version first, butI’ll get the wii u version later. I’m more exited for the 3DS version. It’ll be awesome to play it anywhere.

  • nobody owns or wants to own a wii-U anyway. More people will play this game on emulators than on the system it was made for.

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