- Super Smash Bros. games typically aren’t launch titles for Nintendo consoles, so the next Nintendo console probably won’t get a new Smash at launch either.
- Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a beloved game that is still extremely popular, even long after its launch, so another Smash game probably isn’t imminent.
- It is not unusual for Smash Bros. games to have lengthy waits between releases, as this allows for the inclusion of changes from other franchises and the ability to release DLC characters.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the most recent addition to the series, and it will likely remain that way for quite some time. The franchise has long been a staple for Nintendo, and Ultimate is among the Switch’s highest-selling games, but there has never been a tremendous amount of urgency around consistent releases. As the face of the platform fighter genre and a gathering point for many popular franchises, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is widely beloved, and fans are already awaiting a follow-up. Regardless, the next entry is unlikely to accompany the Switch 2’s launch.
It is not unusual for Smash Bros. games to have somewhat lengthy waits between them. While Ultimate was released approximately four years after its predecessor, there have been longer waits in the past. This makes sense, given both the scale of each game and the landscape of the fighting game genre. Modern Super Smash Bros. games have huge rosters, and balancing a fighting game takes a lot of research and testing. Even with an extended development time and the ability to update its balance after release, overpowered characters like Steve from Minecraft still make their way into games. Lengthy breaks between entries are also optimal for releasing new characters as DLC and providing incremental updates for each title.
How Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Could Return as a Perfect Switch 2 Launch Title
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate was a landmark title for the Switch, and it could possibly repeat that feat as a Switch 2 launch title.
Super Smash Bros. Has Never Been a Launch Title
Except for Super Smash Bros. Melee, games in the series have always launched at least a year into each console’s life. Additionally, there is only ever one Smash title on any given piece of hardware. This release strategy makes a lot of sense, because waiting several years between entries and avoiding the launch window allows new Smash games to implement the changes from other franchises. For example, Link’s appearance has changed across Zelda games, and Smash Bros. has been able to capture that. Ultimate updated Link’s outfit and his bomb mechanics to reflect their design in Breath of the Wild. Given that launch titles are typically from big system-seller franchises, waiting until after the launch window allows Smash to include the changes in each series for the coming generation.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is Still Popular
On top of Smash games typically avoiding each console’s release window, the current entry is still extremely popular. At the start of 2024, long after its launch, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate received new spirits. The fact that Nintendo saw it fitting to return to the game shows its lasting appeal. While it’s not impossible that a port of Ultimate could come to the next-generation Nintendo console early in its life, it seems unlikely that the company will rush to put out a brand-new entry, especially considering the monstrous size of Smash Ultimate‘s roster.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate May Be Impossible to Top
The creator of Super Smash Bros. has made it very clear that achieving the huge roster size in Ultimate was no easy task. Masahiro Sakurai has talked about the difficulty of not just developing each character but attaining the rights to them and keeping both Nintendo and the other companies involved happy. Because of all the rights involved, the existence of Ultimate is nothing short of a minor miracle. The result of this is that future entries may have smaller rosters or rely more heavily on first-party franchises. If this is going to be the case, it makes sense that Nintendo would want to leave Super Smash Bros. Ultimate in the limelight as long as possible.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is still popular, its roster might be impossible to pull off again, and the series seldom gets new entries around the release of a console. For all these reasons, it seems unlikely that a new Smash Bros. game will accompany the release of Nintendo’s next-generation system, but that’s actually for the best. The landscape of Nintendo’s series hasn’t changed all that much since Ultimate‘s DLC releases concluded. Waiting until later in the next console generation’s life will allow the next entry in the series to stand out more, which is a good thing for fans.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate
- December 7, 2018
- Online Multiplayer , Local Multiplayer
- E for Everyone: Cartoon Violence, Comic Mischief, Suggestive Themes