When I was 12 my parents bought me tickets to see a WWF event and I nearly threw up I was so excited. And yet, at the same time, I remember genuinely feeling like it wouldn't happen. Something would push it back, or delay it, or cancel it, because, deep down, I knew it was too good to be true. Seeing Stone Cold and The Rock in person? God, even thinking about it now makes me feel like hurling into a bucket, in the best possible sense.
That, more or less, is how I think all Nintendo fans feel about the release of a new Smash Bros. We know it's happening because there's a website that posts new pictures every day, but we feel as though it's too good to be true. It can't possibly release sooner than later because we don't deserve it. That's why, whenever there's a rumored release date that puts Smash Bros. on the Wii U and 3DS before 2018, people call bullshits. But, as yet another source validates a "soon" release, it's time to start taking these things seriously.
This time the leak comes from Nintendo itself. Bernd Fakesch, general manager for Nintendo Germany, recently said that both Mario Kart 8 and Super Smash Bros. would be releasing in spring of 2014. And you know what? Recent history says that Mr. Fakesch is likely not faking.
First, let's look at Nintendo's recent release strategy. For the most part, the publisher has been fairly tight-lipped on future releases, save for the few hitting shelves in the immediate future. With the exception of games announced around the Wii U's launch (for obvious reasons, since barely anything was done for the console's debut), nearly every game discussed by Nintendo has been given a release date within a year of the reveal. That's shocking, especially with the trend of announcing a game and then promoting the hell out of it for two years before even thinking of releasing it.
Nearly all of Nintendo's big releases in 2013 were announced in 2013. Wind Waker HD, A Link Between Worlds, Super Mario 3D World, Pokemon X and Y, Sonic: Lost World, New Super Luigi U, and Mario & Luigi: Dream Team all released within months of their announcement, making up a vast majority of the big Nintendo games released this year. The only real exceptions to the rule come with Donkey Kong Country: Tropical Freeze and a duo of Yoshi games, but DKC is releasing in a few months (and was supposed to be out by now before its delay), and there's likely a good reason why neither Yoshi game has released yet.
Nintendo's strategy here is actually sort of awesome. Sure, I have plenty of nostalgic memories of crying into my keyboard over Zelda delays, but this strategy is definitely beneficial in the long run. By and large, Nintendo seems to be holding off on big unveils for games over a year out, and with both Mario Kart and Smash Bros. being revealed at E3 2013, that would mean we shouldn't be surprised to see them by that time next year.
There's also the fact that Nintendo has been unleashing Smash Bros. news at an absurd rate. When Henry and I started Super Smash Bros. Wii U Weekly (every week on YouTube, btws) we anticipated having little-to-no information to talk about. Now, we have the opposite problem: hardly a month goes by without two new stages, a new character, and a bunch of other small reveals. There can't be much left if Nintendo actually wants to release this thing with any secrets intact.
Oh, and the Wii U isn't selling well, and Nintendo knows that, so, like, c'mon, you know it has to release stuff soon.
I know. I'm right there with you. I think it's too good to be true. Smash Bros. releasing anytime before the end of 2014 just doesn't feel right, and I think Nintendo is going to wise up, realize we don't deserve Smash Bros. and take it away because we're getting a C in math oh god oh god I'm hyperventilating. But Nintendo's recent trends point towards a near-future where we'll all be playing Smash Bros. together, and that's something to get excited about.