The next Super Smash Bros. game will land on both Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U and since one of those is a portable gaming machine and one is a console, fans have to wait while each release is staggered.
Still, the disappointment Wii U owners might feel if they don't own a Nintendo 3DS (and would like to buy that version of the game in October) will be palpable over the months of development that follow. Series creator Masahiro Sakurai understands the pain there.
In a Weekly Famitsu column, Sakurai wrote that the bug-fixing and play-testing focus has officially landed on Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS though a complicated and action-oriented game like Smash makes that process difficult:
Checking is done both domestically and overseas, so for a game like Smash Bros., several hundred people are employed. So, debugging alone become 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.
In a previous Smash Bros., we founda 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 patter must be tried, but such a task would be impossible no matter how many decades or centuries you take.
I'd say adding so many years to the development process won't help. Sakurai still seems hopeful that the Wii U version will follow the Nintendo 3DS release of Smash Bros. closely.
"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 explained. "It's better than releasing a product like that."