Since the initial reveal of the Nintendo Switch last year, it’s been clear that the system puts a big focus on local multiplayer. However, many fans were surprised to see last week’s showcase come and go without any mention of one of Nintendo’s most popular multiplayer mainstays, Super Smash Bros.
It’s long been rumored that an enhanced version of most recent iteration of Super Smash Bros. would be released for the Switch. No official announcement has been made just yet, but recent comments from Nintendo of America COO Reggie Fils-Aime suggest that something is in the works.
Fils-Aime was being grilled by Time about the company’s plans for the subscription-based online system planned for the Switch. In his response, he referred to a few multiplayer titles by name.
“We will look to make sure that in the end, we’ve got this robust, online environment that not only works well for our games, like Splatoon and Mario Kart and Smash Bros., but that also works great for our third party developers,” said Fils-Aime.
It’s interesting to note that Splatoon and Mario Kart have already been confirmed for the Switch, while Super Smash Bros. has not. It remains to be seen whether Fils-Aime misspoke, or is intentionally teasing an upcoming announcement ahead of time.
Every single Nintendo console since the Nintendo 64 has seen some iteration of Super Smash Bros., but there’s still some doubt as to whether the Switch will receive the same treatment. After the completion of the Wii U and 3DS versions, series creator Masahiro Sakurai suggested that he was done with the franchise — although he’s made similar claims in the past.
For a series that relies on an ever-expanding roster of characters, the threat of diminishing returns looms large. Many players would be dismayed to see their favorite fighters undergo dramatic changes at this point, so the process of keeping Super Smash Bros. fresh while retaining its unique appeal is very challenging.
At this point, most fans — and maybe even Sakurai himself — would be happy with a remastered version of the Wii U version of Super Smash Bros. being released for the Switch. There’s been no confirmation that this is the plan, but Fils-Aime’s comments certainly seem to suggest that something is in the works.
The Nintendo Switch launches on March 3, 2017.